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Group Warns That Vehicle Interior Air Has Dangerous Levels of Toxics

January 17, 2006

DETROIT – An environmental group, called the Ecology Center, has warned that vehicle interiors have dangerous levels of toxic chemicals, mainly from flame retardants and plastic softeners, according to Automotive News. The group has called on automakers to switch to safer alternatives and said lawmakers should ban the chemicals. It urged motorists to protect themselves by keeping their vehicles vacuumed and ventilated.The flame retardants — polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs — are linked to problems with children’s brain development and other health issues. The plastic softeners, called phthalates, are believed to interfere with male reproductive system development, according to the group.Jeff Gearhart, clean car campaign director for the Ecology Center and co-author of the re-port, said in the Automotive News article: “Most people think about cars causing outdoor air pollution, such as smog. Now we know that breathing the air and dust inside of cars may be even more dangerous.”The Ecology Center based its study on dust and windshield film samples in 133 vehicles from the 2000-2005-model years.
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