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William Treumann , Published October 04 2009

New-car smell might be toxic

I read with interest the report in The Forum about proposed legislation regarding products made of reconstituted wood that emit formaldehyde gas.

Many people have expressed pleasure over the new-car smell, but few have wondered what it could be. It has to be volatile chemicals coming mostly out of the upholstery until it is all degassed.

When one buys a new car, if weather permits, it would be a good idea to keep all windows open until no odor remains. Do not use air conditioning. In cold weather, close windows if one must, but, if possible, leave them all open whenever not driving.

Or, summing up: Leave all windows of new cars open as much as possible until no odor can be detected. It might be advisable to be cautious even longer.