People Are Exposed To Cancer-Causing Chemicals Inside Cars: Study

People Are Exposed To Cancer-Causing Chemicals Inside Cars: Study

According to a recent study, harmful chemical fumes are created inside the cars because the materials used for the car's cabin are exposed to heavy sun rays during the summer. Exposure to these chemicals is cancer-causing and linked to neurological and reproductive harm.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 05:00 PM IST
article-image
Representative Image |

A recent study by Environmental Science & Technology found that 99% of car cabins release fumes that can have negative effects on the hormonal system, reproduction, and even cancer. According to the study, seat foams are the main source of these compounds in the cabin air. The researchers of the study also argued that the toxic flame retardants used in car seats do not provide any real benefit inside vehicles.

Study Explains

A study published in Environmental Science & Technology analyzed the cabin air of 101 gas, electric, and hybrid cars with model years ranging from 2015 to 2022. The study found that harmful chemicals that can cause cancer are present in the cabin air of 99% of automobiles. The chemicals identified were flame retardants, including TCIPP, TCEP, and TDCIPP, which have been linked to cancer, decreased fertility, and altered thyroid hormone function.

Previous Study On Flame Retardants

Environmental Science & Technology's earlier study acknowledged that flame retardants have been found in a large number of consumer products and discovered that PBDE-treated foam found in residential furniture was linked to noticeably higher levels of PBDEs in the dust inside homes as well as in the blood serum of those residing there.

Researchers Statements

Rebecca Hoehn, lead researcher and toxicology scientist at Duke University, said, "Considering the average driver spends about an hour in the car every day, this is a significant public health issue."

"It's particularly concerning for drivers with longer commutes as well as child passengers, who breathe more air pound for pound than adults," she added.

Patrick Morrison, director of health, safety, and medicine for the International Association of Fire Fighters, said, "Firefighters are concerned that flame retardants contribute to their very high cancer rates. Filling products with these harmful chemicals does little to prevent fires for most uses and instead makes the blazes smokier and more toxic for victims, and especially for first responders."

"I urge NHTSA (US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to update their flammability standard to be met without flame retardant chemicals inside vehicles," he added.

More Harmful For Children

About 60% of people in India commute to work in a personal vehicle, with the average driver spending 55 minutes of their day in a vehicle. Many infants and children are also transported to and from school, childcare, and doctor’s appointments in personal vehicles, making vehicles a likely route of exposure for this vulnerable population.

Lydia Jahl, study author and senior scientist at the Green Science Policy Institute, said people might be able to reduce their exposure to toxic flame retardants by opening car windows and parking in the shade or in garages. "But what's really needed is reducing the amount of flame retardants being added to cars in the first place. Commuting to work shouldn't come with a cancer risk, and children shouldn't breathe in chemicals that can harm their brains on their way to school," she added.

Summer Days Are Most Harmful

Due to the increased release of chemicals from car materials caused by heat, the study discovered that summertime saw the highest concentrations of toxic flame retardants. According to the researchers, seat foam is the source of the chemicals that cause cancer in the cabin air. According to automakers, the chemicals are added to seat foam and other materials in order to comply with a flammability standard that is "outdated" and has no demonstrable benefit for fire safety.

RECENT STORIES

How Flowers Can Help Elevate Our Health Quotient

How Flowers Can Help Elevate Our Health Quotient

Goosebumps To Hold New Edition Of Pickles And Ghazals At Rangasharda, Bandra, Today

Goosebumps To Hold New Edition Of Pickles And Ghazals At Rangasharda, Bandra, Today

Suffering From Shoulder Pain? Try This Self-Healing Therapy For Relief

Suffering From Shoulder Pain? Try This Self-Healing Therapy For Relief

Ayurvedic Acupressure Can Help Treat Corns And Calluses; Read On To Know More

Ayurvedic Acupressure Can Help Treat Corns And Calluses; Read On To Know More

Life Insurance - Who Needs it and How Much?

Life Insurance - Who Needs it and How Much?