Don’t you just love that new car smell when you bring it home from the dealership? I know you do, you can’t fool me! Yes, it is from the incredibly toxic gases escaping from the plastic, vinyls and glues, but still – it smells pretty good for a chemical factory. That being said, if you are very sensitive to those toxins or want to buy a new car that has the least amount of toxicity in it, you might want to check out HealthyCar.org, which can help guide you through the chemicals inside your car:
HealthyCar.org is based on research conducted by the Ecology Center that looks at the presence of key hazardous chemicals in vehicles and child car seats. While there are numerous substances in vehicles that can lead to health and environmental problems, HealthyCar.org focuses on bromine, chlorine, lead, as well as some other heavy metals, allergens and carcinogens. All of these substances were chosen because of their toxicity, persistence, and/or tendency to build up in people and the environment. All of them have also been subject to regulatory restrictions and/or voluntary limits set by industry associations or third party certification organizations.
Their PDF download of all the 2006/07 models has categories like station wagons, SUV’s, minivans, etc, and you can see the most and least toxic cars by their chemical rating. For example, in the station wagon category, the cars with the best rating were the 2007 Volvo V50 and the 2006 Suzuki Aerio and the ones with the worst rating were the 2006 Suzuki Forenza Wagon and the 2006 Scion xB 5dr. It’s a pretty cool site with a lot of information to go through. I tried to look up our 2006 Mini Cooper, but it was not listed…I guess it was not one of the most popular cars that year! HealthyCar.org
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