When you get a new car and just enter the cab, you often feel that there are some strange smells in the car. These smells sometimes remind people of home decoration pollution and make people smell bad. In fact, having a peculiar smell does not necessarily mean that it is harmful to the human body, and the concentration cannot be discussed about toxicity.
3 sources of odor in the car
There are actually many sources of peculiar smell in the car, but there are three main ones that have a greater impact: interior peculiar smell, man-made peculiar smell and air-conditioning peculiar smell.
When you open the door of a new car you just bought, you will often smell a strong smell of plastic and rubber, which is mainly emitted by the interior, including a series of plastic parts and leather coverings such as the dashboard, doors, and seats. . In addition, the additives and adhesives used in the production process of these interior decorations will continue to release some volatile substances with odors, causing peculiar smells in the car.
Man-made odors are mainly caused by interior decoration pollution and some bad driving habits. For example, leather seat covers, floor rubber, and seat cushions made of chemical fiber will release volatile organic pollutants; inferior perfumes in car perfume decorations mostly use chemical fragrances; if someone smokes, drinks or eats in the car, they will also leave them behind. The smell will not disperse for a long time, the food residues are not cleaned up in time, and the peculiar smell will be emitted after moldy.
The peculiar smell of the air conditioner is mainly due to the fact that the air conditioner system has not been cleaned for a long time, and a large amount of dirt, dust, etc. have accumulated in the evaporator and air ducts. In a humid environment, mold, bacteria and other bacteria have grown. This kind of peculiar smell often makes drivers and passengers feel very uncomfortable, and in severe cases, it can also cause discomfort such as dizziness and chest tightness.
External pollution will also affect the air quality inside the car to a certain extent. Car exhaust contains carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, which can also pollute the environment inside the car. In addition, driving the window in a foggy day will cause the fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the car to exceed the standard. Although these polluting gases will not cause disease immediately, if they are inhaled too much for a long time, they will endanger health.
Some volatiles are “high-risk molecules”
If the peculiar smell in the car is too pungent, it may mean that the concentration of pollutants in the car has exceeded the standard, but this cannot be smelled by the nose. The air quality in the car depends on the detection of instruments, as long as the content of volatile organic compounds (VOC).
In the automotive field, VOC mainly includes 8 substances such as benzene, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, styrene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein. Benzene and formaldehyde are first class carcinogens specified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, and the remaining 6 classes are second class carcinogens. However, there is no clear research to prove that there is a direct causal relationship between car odor and cancer.
The source of VOC is directly related to the vehicle manufacturing process and parts. The major influences include automobile dashboard assembly, door trim, carpet, roof, automobile wiring harness, seat assembly, etc. The materials of these parts are generally It is made of plastic. In addition, car roof composite glue, door panel insert glue, PVC surface paint, etc. will also produce some pollutants.
my country has clear standards for air quality in cars. In 2011, the country issued the “Guidelines for Evaluation of Air Quality in Passenger Cars”; in 2017, the mandatory national standard “Passenger Cars” was jointly formulated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. The “Guidelines for Air Quality Evaluation” was released for comment, re-clarifying the concentration limits of eight volatile pollutants, and in particular put forward stricter requirements for carcinogens such as benzene and toluene. Among them, the concentration limit of benzene was lowered from the original 0.11mg/m3 to 0.06mg/m3, and the limit of toluene was adjusted from 1.10mg/m3 to 1.00mg/m3.
Air quality cannot be self-tested
I feel that the car has a big peculiar smell. Is the concentration of volatile pollutants exceeding the standard? In order to verify whether the air quality in the car is up to standard, some people buy hand-held car air quality testing instruments from the Internet. However, there is a set of rigorous and scientific procedures and standards for the air quality inspection in the car. There are strict regulations on the entire process of cleaning, placing, pretreatment, sealing and sampling of the cabin, and the testers, the test environment, and the accuracy of the equipment. Extremely demanding, the data measured by consumers sitting in the car with a handheld instrument often contains large errors.
The “Guidelines for the Evaluation of Air Quality in Passenger Cars” clearly stipulate the requirements for the air quality in the car: the sampling conditions for the air quality test in the car are professional vehicles with a temperature of 25±1℃ and a relative humidity of 50%±10%. In the odor warehouse, open the door and window and let it stand for 6 hours, then close the door and window and let it stand for 16 hours.
Both the “Guidelines for Air Quality Evaluation in Passenger Cars” and “Indoor Air Quality Standards” require that the concentration of formaldehyde should not be higher than 0.10mg/m3, but the former is limited to volatilization in the car for 16 hours, while the latter is only limited The average value within 1 hour is far lower than the air quality evaluation standard in the car.
Consumers who have doubts about the air quality in the car can entrust a professional third-party testing agency to do a “physical examination” for the car air. It should be noted that the testing agency must be certified with China Metrology Certification (CMA) qualification.
Car odor should be dredged and not blocked
Although the peculiar smell in the car is not enough to cause illness, the pungent smell can still affect the driving experience. To quickly remove the peculiar smell in the car, try the following methods:
First, keep ventilation and dry as much as possible, especially for formaldehyde, temperature and humidity are important factors that affect the volatilization of formaldehyde. It is recommended that when the weather is hot, do not turn on the air conditioner before driving. Open the doors and windows first, ventilate for a few minutes before going on the road. If you choose to use activated carbon to adsorb formaldehyde, after a period of use, it should be exposed to the sun for a period of time in a ventilated place to discharge harmful gases.
Secondly, if you want to decorate the car, accessories must be strictly selected, environmentally friendly materials must be purchased, and low-quality products should not be used for cheap.
Third, use perfume or other air fresheners, purifiers, etc. with caution. These chemical compounds themselves have a certain degree of pollution. If mixed with the odor in the car, it will be more uncomfortable.
Fourth, the original packaging of the new car must be removed to prevent the pollution that could have been solved from being “fermented” in the car, thereby causing air pollution.
From the root cause, avoiding buying cars with excessive pollutants is the most effective way to avoid air odors. In addition to paying attention to performance when buying a car, consumers must confirm with the manufacturer whether the pollution of the car’s production components meets the relevant national standards and regulations, and confirm whether it is composed of low-odor, low-emission, and low-polluting materials.