Is nothing sacred? I ask you, is there nothing that some study, somewhere, won't find toxic?
Today's case in point is one of the most savored scents, one of the most honored odeurs. What, you ask, might that most favored olfactory experiences be? Quite simply, the factory fresh perfume we have come to know and love as "new car smell".
There is nothing on Earth like it. When you buy a car, and get in for the first few times, there's that special smell. It's as pleasing to the nostrils as it is to the ego. It says, "Look at me, smell me, I just bought a new car. Love me, love my car!"
And now, Dear Reader, they want to take that simple pleasure away from us all. Those fiends!
Our sister site, CBSNews.com, is now reporting that new car smell is, in fact toxic.
Can you believe it? The nerve of those scientists.
Apparently, in a study by the Ecology Center, the new car smell is the result of "a cocktail" of hundreds of toxic chemicals in a new car that "off gas" in small, confined spaces. For the record, shortly after we bought our last new car, the new car smell went away after my husband "off gassed" his own cocktail of toxic chemicals.
In all seriousness, the toxicity is the result of flame retardants and PVC plastic. The problem is that BFRs (brominated flame retardants) have been tied to thyroid problems, among other conditions, and some of the chemicals in PVC can cause issues with liver, testes, thyroid, ovaries, kidneys, and blood.
So does this mean you shouldn't buy new cars?
The Ecology Center doesn't make a recommendation. But I can offer you a few thoughts. If you have thyroid issues, are pregnant, or suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, you probably should see your doctor before spending too much time in new cars. Even if that's not the case, and you're somewhat concerned about your new car smell exposure, consider opening the windows and letting that new car smell air out.
And, for the record, you probably aren't fooling anyone with that new car smell spray (and who knows what they put in that stuff). If you want to smell something wonderful, go bake some cinnamon buns. Just don't eat too many at once, or you'll get a tummy ache!