Dangers of Asbestos

Terrible Substances in Automobiles

Modern vehicles are built from thousands of different components. While major vehicle manufacturers have high standards for their factories, many suppliers in foreign countries don't follow these standards. Parts produced in low-income countries often contain hazardous substances such as mercury, lead, asbestos, and cadmium. Exposure to these toxins can cause mesothelioma, heart disease, cancer, and other serious health problems. Mostly in older vehicle, asbestos was used in different parts of the automobile like brake pads, gaskets, hood liners, clutch linings, etc. Mechanics need to take extra precautions before performing on their vehicles.

Many vehicles contain parts manufactured in China. While the Occupational Safety Hazard Administration (OSHA) regulates vehicle design in the United States, many foreign companies aren't obligated to follow these same standards. This can result in manufacturing practices that introduce lead and other foreign materials into the vehicle.

It can be impossible to avoid all the toxins and hazardous substances in a modern environment. However, there are many practices that can help minimize exposure for both passengers and drivers.

The 'new vehicle' smell found in many dealership cars can be hazardous to one's health, and an example is benzene. This smell usually comes from adhesives, plastic composites, and other noxious substances out-gassing in a vehicle. These have been shown to cause respiratory irritation, lung cancer, and other serious health problems.

Try to purchase a used vehicle instead of a new one. A used vehicle has had adequate time to ventilate and allow any dangerous substances embedded evaporate from the plastic. In addition, used vehicles are often safer than new vehicles: thorough road testing has eliminated any potential safety problems.

It's also important to ventilate a vehicle on a warm day. Never enter a warm vehicle with the windows rolled up. Dangerous chemicals can be vaporized in warm temperatures -- these often will remain in the air of a vehicle cabin without ventilation. It's also important to never leave a child or pet in a warm vehicle with rolled up windows.

It's also important to minimize the use of the air-recirculate feature on an AC system. This feature will reuse the air inside a cabin. While this can lower energy use for many vehicles, it forces passengers to breathe stale air from outside the vehicle. Exposure to this air over time may expose drivers and passengers to toxins.

Make sure to properly research a vehicle before making any purchasing decision. Many lower-end vehicles are manufactured using inferior processes. This can introduce a health hazard to drivers, passengers, and anyone else who uses a vehicle.

Most modern vehicles have a small sticker on the driver's door detailing the manufacturing process. This can provide information on the vehicle's country of origin, suppliers, and other critical information.

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