Have you ever noticed the smell of new equipment, like a computer, or perhaps your car? There's a peculiar odor that lets you know that it's fresh from the factory. But that air is anything but fresh. And while you might be proud of the new car smell, it could be hazardous to your health.

New-car or product odors are actually fumes emitted from paints, vinyls, and plastics. They are of a class of chemicals known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs. Volatile means compounds that easily become gaseous. Included in VOCs is notorious formaldehylde, the embalming fluid.

 

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VOCs are also the culprit in the so-called "sick building syndrome." There, volatile gases from synthetic rugs, paints, glues, plastics, etc. combine to create a hazardous atmosphere for you to breathe. Many workers can become ill, and even suffer an impaired immune systems.

 

Amazingly, some people are so into their new car smell that a cottage industry has sprung up - aerosol spays that keep cars smelling "fresh" from the factory.

 

Fortunately, some of the car makers are trying to reduce the number of VOCs you're exposed to in your new car. Japan is leading the way by lowering the VOCs in their products.

 

I've told you in the past that toxins leak out of plastics and other types of chemically made products. That's why you should never use oil that's stored in a plastic container.

 

And there are other steps you can take to protect yourself. Here's what you should do:

 

  • Before you use newly purchased equipment of any kind, leave it unpacked for several days in a well ventilated room.  (Preferably one you don't spend much time in). Above all, don't buy spray cans that mimic new car smells. Pride is one thing. Foolishness is another. I sure don't want you putting extra chemicals into your body.

 

  • When you buy a new car, leave the windows down at night to allow the gasses to escape. And if you can tolerate driving with the windows down, do so for a couple weeks. The sunshine and fresh air will do you good.  And it will air the car out faster.

 

In the future, I'll be telling you about great new breakthroughs to clean the air you breathe. Whether it's in your home, car, or office, these toxins are deadly, so please avoid them as much as possible.

 

 

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