Toxic Substances Found in Vehicles

Every time you drive a vehicle, or give it a tune-up,you may be exposing yourself to arsenic, asbestos, PBDEs, lead, mercury and several other toxins. Most of the public outcry to date has focused on asbestos, so we’ll begin there. When we think of asbestos, we think of an outdated insulation material that has been removed from the marketplace due to health concerns. Or is it? Many might be shocked to discover that asbestos and countless other toxins are in use within several products that you come into contact with daily. Among the most notable are car parts. Mechanics and those who work on their own vehicles need to be cautious about the risk of exposure.

The following auto parts all have a history of containing asbestos and other toxins:

1.) Hood-liners
2.) Brakes
3.) Clutches
4.) Valve Rings
5.) Heat Seals
6.) Gaskets
7.) Packing

Right now you're probably thinking that the usage of asbestos in these parts has become obsolete, right? Wrong. Although the government banned the usage of asbestos in car parts back in the 80s, there continues to be reports of asbestos exposure. Whether this is due to old car parts or a lack of compliance with the government law is unclear.

As previously mentioned, asbestos may be the most well known, but it is not the only toxic substance that might be hiding out inside of your vehicle. Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), which are used for their fire retardant properties, are contained within seat cushions, plastic parts and floor coverings. PBDEs have been linked with premature birth, liver toxicity and birth defects.

Studies have also found evidence of arsenic, mercury, chlorine, lead and bromine within the interiors of countless cars. Out of all of the dangerous substances mentioned in this article, only asbestos is currently banned by the US government. This is perhaps due in part to the approximately 580 documented deaths that occur from exposure each year, most from mesothelioma.

Although it's a step in the right direction for the usage of asbestos to be banned in auto parts, it's shocking how many chemicals are still freely used, especially within the interior. Every time you sit on your car seat, you're sitting on top of bromine, antimony and lead. There is also lead in your door trim and the carpeting. The US government in 1977 due to serious health concerns banned lead paint. So why is it still allowed to be used in other products, particularly the interior of most automobiles? The answer, so far, is unknown. conducted a study in 2009 to discover which vehicle contains the most toxins. The Chevy Aveo was given the disgraceful honor of being named as the worst car from a health standpoint. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Pontiac G5 was selected as the healthiest car in the marketplace.

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