The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Safe Volvo Cabin Environment for Allergy Sufferers

August 29, 2008

IRVINE, CAThe interior environment in a Volvoshould also be safe for hypersensitive people. Three Volvo models, the S80, V70,and XC70, are now recommended by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association. Anincreasing number of customers are also beginning to make demands on thequality of the air in the car’s passenger compartment.

Theobjective is for the air inside the cabin to be cleaner than the air outside ofit with respect to the air drawn into the cabin as well as the emissions fromthe materials in the cabin. What is often referred to as the “new car smell” isactually low levels of emissions from materials such as PVC plastics andcertain metals. The levels are so low that they do not present a danger, butwhen the car becomes warm, concentrations may occur that irritate hypersensitivepeople. These substances are quickly vented out of the cabin but Volvo Cars’objective is to avoid these odors completely.

“We aretrying to minimize all odors since strong smells can trigger asthma,” saidAndreas Andersson, who is in charge of clean cabins at VCC.

Work withthe interior environment can be divided into two main areas: air quality andcontact allergies. To ensure that the air entering the cabin is as clean aspossible, Volvo Cars has developed two systems: IAQS (Interior Air Quality System) and CZIP (Clean Zone Interior Package). IAQS monitors the quality of theincoming air and automatically closes the air vents if the levels of harmfulsubstances become too high. A multi-filter removes particulates and pollen butalso uses a layer of active charcoal to remove odors and ground-level ozone.

The air in a Volvo car fitted with IAQS should always be below WHO’s limits forurban environments. CZIP ensures that the air in the car is automaticallyvented out within one minute from the time the car is unlocked with the remotecontrol. This system is recommended by the Swedish Asthma and AllergyAssociation.

In orderto avoid emissions from materials in the cabin, a careful selection ofmaterials is made at an early stage. Furthermore, tests are conducted in whichinterior components are heated in ovens in order to measure the effect on airquality.

In the work to counteract contact allergies, the amount of nickel released frommetallic surfaces is minimized and a natural plant extract is used instead ofchrome for tanning leather. All textiles and leather in Volvo’s cars meet therequirements in the Oeko-Tex Standard 100, an international institute thatmonitors harmful substances in textiles.

 

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