Is The Air You Breathe Inside Your Car Toxic?
It is true we all require clean indoor air quality in our homes, but have you thought about the effect of the air quality you breathe in your car.Lungs in our bodies are the primary filters we have. When they become filled, our health suffers. Most of the people in North America drive 100km a day between home and office, then add to that, driving to after school activities for the kids and then our own after hour activities, and you could easily be spending 2 to 4 hours inside your car.
Many cars, trucks, and especially RV’s also have tiny leaks that allow moisture to get into the vehicle, which allows sinus infection causing agents to thrive. RV’s are troublesome as they tend to have more seams that leak, which allows mold to grow, creates that mildew smell, and if you spend time there, allows a sinus infection to happen. RV air conditioners often promote mold and bacteria growth because they are seldom cleaned, and the condensation provides the necessary moisture.
Sorry to say, but latest and continuing surveys show that air inside your car is twice or five times more polluted than that of your house or your place of work. After all, the car is just a smaller version and more enclosed space than your house or workplace and is more susceptible to allergies related to fungus and symptoms similar to sick building syndrome. Fungi can penetrate the air through air streams and aeration systems, spreading virulent allergens and microorganisms. Every passenger in your car and that includes you is inhaling particles of dust, greenhouse gasses, and car exhaust fumes – in addition to formaldehyde, other numerous irritants in the car from pet dander, spoiled food to cigarette stains.
According to Anders Lofvendahl, project manager at Volvo, “In hot climates, volatile hydrocarbons evaporate from plastics and textiles.” All of these factors can exacerbate asthma and allergies and create a toxic environment for you and your family. Also, the study done by The International Center for Technology Assessment showed that in the 23 independent methodical experiments carried out, it revealed that air pollution levels in cars often reach concentrations that may endanger human health. The study continues to assert that air inside vehicles contains more deadly chemicals (the likes of carbon monoxide, benzene, toluene), fine particle matter, and nitrogen oxides than ambient air as shown on the outcome in nearby monitoring stations utilized to calculate government air quality statistics.
Think about it – every car and truck on the road are inhaling and exhaling toxic air – and that air is in your car. The whole time that you are on the road that is the air that gets into your lungs and breathes while you remain inside that enclosed, polluted space.
So here are a few suggestions on how to battle the toxic air in your vehicle;
Changing the air filter in your car is as vital as changing the furnace`s filter, The air filter in your car is the first defense against air pollution before your lungs! Try to change the air filter regularly, And never go for the cheaper air filters.This is not something you would want to cheap out!
Plug-in Air Purifiers:
A few suggestions are to plug in an air purifier (in the cigarette lighter plug in – better use for it anyway) that uses negative ions to remove contaminants from the air, air filtration systems for the car, or air freshener ionizers. The outer opening is shut while the windows are kept up. The only thing is – your dog won’t be able to hang his head out the window!
Don`t Smoke in Your Vehicle:
Smoking in cars is as bad as smoking indoors.
Aside from the health hazards on your lungs, Cigarette smoke will deteriorate the indoor air quality in your car, Some people tend to believe that airing out the vehicle with diminish the harmful effects in terms of the vehicle`s indoor air quality but that could not be further from truth!
Try To Air Out the Car by Opening the windows as much as possible:
Rolling down your car windows will always allow fresh air in while letting the toxins out, It has been recommended to roll windows down 30 seconds for every 5 minutes of driving. (Depending on weather/traffic) conditions.
Try to Avoid Driving During The Rush Hour as Much as Possible:
In this day and age it might sound almost impossible to avoid driving in rush hours completely but keep in mind that vehicles emit emission gasses, Regardless of their age nor brand, What exits from other cars exhaust will get sucked into your vehicle.
Get Your Car Steam Cleaned:
Whether the interior of your car is made out of cloth, Or leather, It is good to know that there will always be bacteria and toxins in your car`s carpet or seats, The same principal with carpets at home, Try to get the interior of your car steam cleaned at least once a year.
Be Mindful of the Air Freshener You are Purchasing for your Car:
The Air Freshener industry is not regulated! Click here to read the blog post regarding air
fresheners, If most of them are hazardous to your health, The same rule applies to car air fresheners.
Try something natural like lavender, Lavender will freshen up your car without leaving any harmful effects on your car`s indoor air quality.