Our "second living room," the car, protects us from external inconveniences such as rain, cold, wind, etc. But what about allergens? Is the car allergen-free when windows and doors are closed? Unfortunately no!
2 With the installation of a pollen filter, the penetration of pollen can be prevented to a large extent. But besides the pollen, there are year-round "obstacles" to a carefree ride. The search for the culprit is often difficult, because in contrast to pollen, complaints only occur after prolonged contact.
3 Industrially manufactured substances are found in all parts of a vehicle. Ford once published a list of 6.500 undesirable substances are created, which corresponds to about 2/3 of the materials used in the vehicle. The line between undesirable, allergenic and toxic is often blurred. Contact allergens such as nickel, chromium, cobalt and preservatives such as formaldehyde are generally problematic, as they z.B. In seats or fittings (steering wheel, gearshift lever, trim). Formaldehyde in high concentrations causes eye irritation and scratchy throat. In addition, there are questionable fragrances. Rubber additives such as z.B.B. Latex.
4 Technically, a vehicle can very well be designed to be low in allergens. This way, z.B. Already in the manufacturing process to make sure that the foams of the seats are vigorously rolled during production, so that the gas bubbles in the material can crack open. This is how the gases escape in the factory. Not later in the vehicle interior. Adhesives without solvents should also be used.
5 Some upholstery materials used or the vehicle ceiling are only slightly toxic, but emit an unpleasant odor of fish that can cause nausea, and not only in those allergic to fish. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which evaporate from rubber mats and seals, are not only allergenic but also potentially toxic.
6 Leather should always be vegetable tanned (z.B. Nubuck, anilline). In conventional leather production, nickel salts are used, which are later released by sweat or wetness (leather trim on the steering wheel, shelf). Precious wood or lacquer layers can be treated with questionable lacquers, contain nickel, chrome or cobalt colors (blue, black), but also the type of wood can be an allergen.
7 Plastics or. Plasticizers can also cause problems, z.B. Rosin. Even cotton seat covers are not harmless if the cotton is grown using pesticides or. Has been processed. Synthetic fibers in the upholstery fabric do not always trigger an allergy, but can lead to static charging and itching attacks.
8 Particulate matter such as exhaust gases and thus soot particles enter the passenger compartment through the ventilation system and damage our lung system. There may be symptoms such as fatigue, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, as well as shortness of breath, irritable cough, headaches. TÜV Rheinland awards the seal "Allergy tested interior" for particularly allergy-friendly equipment.
9 No help are scent trees and similar, neither chemical nor organic. They can contain a wide range of hazardous substances, and even purely vegetable-based products are no guarantee of compatibility. If a vehicle smells conspicuously like a forest or lemon, the intention is only to mask unpleasant, possibly pathogenic odors.
10 What "stings the nose" from the start can quickly become a problem in everyday vehicle use. Within 40 days, evaporation decreases in new cars, but increases again at higher interior temperatures. Therefore: Turn on the heating during test drives. Pay attention to any "irritating" odors that may occur. Avoid smoking in the car, don't buy a "nicotine guzzler" and cover the seats with a fabric that you can tolerate. Also look for nose-friendly materials when buying car accessories. Have a good trip!