Saturday, May 30, 2009

CAR AIR-COND ALERT? What's the fuss about?

Shalom everyone, I'm posting this not because I support it, but I'm beginning to grow tired of receiving more and more e-mails these few days; they came like horde of buffalo and they keep coming! So, off I went and did a little diggings and true enough, some fact findings yield some startling views.

I am talking about the apparent chain e-mail titled "Car Air-Cond Alert", "Do not turn on A/C immediately as soon as you enter the car!" or anything to that meaning. So eye-and-mind catching to readers that everyone seem to be forwarding it.

I reproduce the content as follow:

"Please open the windows after you enter your car and do not turn ON the air-conditioning immediately. According to a research done, the car dashboard, sofa, air freshener emits Benzene, a Cancer causing toxin (carcinogen- take note of the heated plastic smell in your car).

In addition to causing cancer, it poisons your bones, causes anemia, and reduces white blood cells. Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer may also cause miscarriage.

Acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50 mg per sq. ft. A car parked indoors with the windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene. If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level... & the people inside the car will inevitably inhale an excess amount of the toxins.

It is recommended that you open the windows and door to give time for the interior to air out before you enter. Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver, and is very difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff."

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Consider these few questions before you jump into believing such claim:
  1. Research - who did the research, and where are the details and statistics?
  2. Benzene - what type of benzene? I'm not a chemist but I came to know that benzene exist in many forms, some of which are harmless. We are looking at which benzene in our cars?
  3. 60o F is equivalent to15.5o Celsius. My office is air-conditioned at 24o Celsius, so, if that's the case I may have to start throwing away anything plastic in my office (and home). I'd definitely love to leave my car in the sun and temperature is kept at a 60o F. Then again, perhaps the writer is talking about sunlight in the North pole.
  4. And finally, as long as there is no verifiable fact attached to such claim/email, it most probably is plain hoax. Err, this one isn't really a question.
The only good thing it did to a layman such as myself is the fact that I am now clear about the layout & schematic diagram of a car air-condition system. Much clearer now I must say.

The final point about opening the window and door is a plain common sense I suppose, but do be careful about leaving your door open when you are parked at secluded places. Your cancer concern may leave you a victim to burglars. And when that happen, there is a possibility that you may be gone sooner than if it was due to cancer itself.

Check this out to get more readings. Good points by some, and you know you'll never be blindly jumping into conclusion anymore.


Anonymous said...

Another article posted on the same subject suggests that the levels of Benzene present in the air outside the car are significantly greter than those inside the car.

As a result, if this is true, you actually increase your chance of Cancer by winding your windows down.

Interesting statement - Getting Leukemia increases your chance of getting cancer.

de Engineur said...

speaking of benzene content inside the car - ask any of the bog boys in car manufacturing, GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota - have they not think about it after sooo many years? I think R&D are smart enough to anticipate things, smarter than the initiator of this hoax!

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Anonymous said...

Nice post

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