is benzene highly toxic in hot motocars

Before starting up your engine, and the airconditioner, in a hot motorcar, should you first allow the hot air to escape through open doors or windows? Or
will the benzene fumes from the plastic in dashboard etc. give you cancer?
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On Sun, 10 Mar 2013 14:18:02 +0000, Ann

False, according to Snopes http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/benzene.asp
Sure, it is hot as hell sitting in the sun so I often open the windows anyway, or use the remote starter.
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Ann wrote:

You actually shouldn't drive a car if you are this worried about things. :-)
Cars are inherently dangerous as they move you at high speeds relative to many fixed objects. Very dangerous!!
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On Sun, 10 Mar 2013 12:38:11 -0400, Voyager wrote:

Actually he has a good point, especially on a very new cars, a lot of out gassing occurs from the adhesives and plastics used in the interier in hot weather.
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But it has been proven false. He also states not to turn the AC on. Why not? It helps to ventilate as soon as the blower starts and it is bringing in fresh air, even if the windows are open.
Read what they say here. Older cars are worse than newer cars Exposure levels are higher in winter than summer.
http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/benzene.asp
More here http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2011/07/19/is-your-car-killing-you-with-benzene.aspx
A German study published in 2007 specifically researching the air inside parked cars did not find a hazard to human health. Their analysis detected some cancer-causing chemicals and others that are considered probable or possible carcinogens, but these chemicals were present at levels similar to those found in the air of buildings. Some chemicals that are similar to benzene were found, but benzene was not reported in the results of this study.
Claim: Acceptable Benzene level indoors is: 50mg per sq.ft. A car parked indoors, with 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. People who get into the car, keeping the windows closed, will inevitably inhale, in quick succession, excessive amounts of the BENZENE toxin.
Fact: The standard way to report levels of chemicals in air is mass per volume (for example, mg per cubic meter or cubic foot), not mass per area (mg per square foot). Although this is a technical detail, it suggests that the authors of this e-mail may have limited knowledge of the basic scientific principles of this topic.
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On Sun, 10 Mar 2013 22:47:04 -0400, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2011/07/19/is-your-car-killing-you-with-benzene.aspx

And farher down in the same study:
And by within a week, I meant today. From Dr. Gansler:
To Chetan PATEL and Venkatramana Bhat… thanks so much for your support.
To Beth Herr… I’m so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing from angiosarcoma. People with long-term exposure to elevated levels of vinyl chloride monomer (often through work in industries such as plastic manufacturing) have an increased risk for developing angiosarcoma of the liver, as well as some other health problems. Air in new cars can also have elevated levels of this chemical. For more information see http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/vinylchl.html . Radiation therapy for breast cancer can increase the risk of angiosarcoma developing in the treated breast (after breast conserving treatment) or in the arm on the same side as a breast treated by radiation and/or surgical lymph node removal. For more information see www.cancer.org/.../breast-cancer-what-is-breast-cancer
To Michael Ritter… in reply to your questions about who wrote this article, I have to take credit and blame as the author. My instructions from the editors of this blog were to concentrate on practical information for the general public and to limit discussion of technical details.[EDITOR'S NOTE: This is to get to the heart of the subject without getting too "in the weeds" with dense jargon as this is a blog and most people only read for 2-3 minutes.] With this request in mind, I decided not to mention the issue of incorrect units for benzene concentration. I assumed that this was a typo on the part of whoever wrote the original myth e-mail. However, I appreciate your comment, which provides additional evidence that the original writer was not scientifically qualified and/or not very careful. In evaluating e-mails or web content of this nature, technical errors (such as the one you pointed out) are often a valuable clue that the claims may be incorrect. Thanks for raising this interesting point.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2011/07/19/is-your-car-killing-you-with-benzene.aspx

I have to admit that I have a higher tolerance for such "risks" than most. I worked for two years in the chem lab in college as a work-study student back in the 70s. We use to wash labware with benzene with our bare hands. The didn't ban the stuff until later. I am sure it will kill me some day, but my heavy use of it was nearly 35 years ago and I just don't worry much about it...
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Ann wrote:

I open the doors to let it air out. It's not fun to sit in a car with interior air temp close to 180F.
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On Sun, 10 Mar 2013 19:40:12 -0500, Paul in Houston TX wrote:

Common sense thing to do, same as working inside the air tight buildings with all the synthetic carpeting, or the Mall where the stench of the fumigation still lingers on the Chinese imports.
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