I just received an email from my sister with concerns to Benzene, a toxic chemical that leaches out of car’s interiors, plastics, air-freshners – especially under substantial heat. I took interest in this information and went to find more evidence. First, this is the email message:
Car A/C (Air Conditioning) MUST READ!!!
Please do NOT turn on A/C as soon as you enter the car.
Open the windows after you enter your car and turn ON the air-conditioning after a couple of minutes.
Here’s why: According to a research, the car dashboard, sofa, air freshener emit Benzene, a Cancer causing toxin (carcinogen – take time to observe the smell of heated plastic in your car). In addition to causing cancer, Benzene poisons your bones, causes anemia and reduces white blood cells. Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer. May also cause miscarriage. Acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50 mg per sq. ft.
A car parked indoors with windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene. If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level…
People who get into the car, keeping windows closed will inevitably inhale, in quick succession excessive amounts of the toxin. Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver. What’s worse, it is extremely difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff. So friends, please open the windows and door of your car – give time for interior to air out – dispel the deadly stuff – before you enter.
Interesting huh? Scary, of course. Is this just an urban legend or real facts? Well, this source targeted this very question and it turns out that although the contaminant is a lot less present than stated in this message above – it sure is present. Many products may in fact contain this toxic chemical such as household air-freshners, synthetic fabrics, glues, paint, etc. In a car, it’s harder to control, so it makes sense to air out the car before you even get inside. And in the heat of the sun, these toxins are expelled more and create a toxic environment especially for pregnant women, young children or people with weak or compromised immune systems.
This is a scary reminder how we need to minimize these hazardous toxins, and when it comes to household items, that are easier to control, remove them altogether – don’t buy products containing toxic carcinogen. Research the ingredients of products, look for Benzene, and just don’t buy it. Get the peace of mind that you and your family are not inhaling these toxins. Air out by simply opening the windows and ventilating the car before you get in.
More Benzene Facts here.
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