Beware of Dangerous Toxins in Your Car

Today we hear from Brian Turner on the dangers of chemicals and dust in classic and some more modern cars

When most people consider the dangers associated with cars and driving, they think of wrecks, breaking down on the side of the road, or falling asleep at the wheel. The majority of drivers never even consider that there could be hazards inside the very car they use to get to work, school, and all the places in between. Exhaust from cars is one of the many toxins involved with driving a car; however, there are many that can be found on the inside of the car that most people do not even know about.

One of the dangerous toxins that can be found in cars is asbestos. It is commonly known that asbestos is toxic to a person’s health, especially if they are exposed to it for long periods of time. Long-term exposure, or being exposed to it in large quantities, can lead to mesothelioma. Asbestos is commonly found in the brake pads, hood lining, and clutch plates, making it more dangerous for mechanics to work on cars for long periods. It is recommended for anyone who works on cars to wear a breathing mask when doing so.

Benzene is another dangerous toxin found on the inside of cars. Fumes can arise from the upholstery or the dashboard of the car. Benzene is often used in the production of plastic. Dizziness and stomach irritation are two common effects from benzene exposure, but in high concentrations the toxin can be deadly. Regular cleaning of your car’s upholstery and dashboard is the best way to avoid this toxin.

Phthalates and polybrominated diphenylethers, also known as PDBEs, are also toxins that are commonly found in cars. These dangerous toxins can be found building up on windshields that do not get cleaned often enough. Phthalates are attracted to the film that builds up on windshields while PDBEs are attracted to the dust that is accrued on a windshield that hasn’t been cleaned recently. PDBEs are also found more often in cars where the air conditioner is used frequently. In order to avoid these toxins and reduce exposure, drivers should clean their windshields often as these enter the body through inhalation.

These dangerous chemicals are often present at the manufacturing of vehicles. Phthalates can be used to soften PVC plastics, and PBDEs are sometimes used as fire retardants. Both chemicals can be found in plastic parts, seats, floor mats, and other interior parts of cars. These chemicals have been linked to liver toxicity, birth defects, premature births, and other serious health problems.

Dangerous toxins are a serious concern with automotive travel. Check consumer safety websites and consult experts about the safest ways of avoiding these toxins. Be sure to practice safety tips, keep your car interior clean, and change your air filter regularly.

 

Source:

http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-exposure/products/transmission-plates/

http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-exposure/products/brake-pads/

http://www.mesothelioma.com/asbestos-exposure/occupations/auto-mechanic.htm

http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/News/ExpertVoices/post/2011/07/19/Is-your-car-killing-you-with-benzene.aspx

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es801896x

http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/brian/

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