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.
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.
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
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
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.
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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