Automobiles can be very beneficial in our lives, but also have a storied reputation for being dangerous. Today, automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of fatality in America. These accidents, however, are generally due to excessive speed, careless and inattentive driving, operating under the influence, or any other infraction that may have been committed by a reckless driver. In other words, the busy highways and hectic freeways of America are dangerous. When we think about the hazards of automobiles, most people envision crashes and accidents. However, we rarely think that the materials used to construct the automobile might be hazardous to us as well. In fact, the seemingly benign objects in an automobile can seriously comprise your health.
Tailpipe exhaust and the ill-effects of carbon monoxide have been well researched and documented. Car companies are continually attempting to develop new technologies that will create cleaner cars. In the last decade, great technological strides have been made in this area of car development. While tailpipe exhaust and carbon monoxide emissions remain a problem, other substances found in the car are also dangerous and potential catalysts for health problems.
Benzene is a toxic substance found in most cars. Dashboards, air fresheners and seat coverings are all said to contain Benzene. Exposure to Benzene increases on hot days. As the dashboard heats up, you are more susceptible to Benzene exposure. That faint smell of burning plastic that is sometimes noticeable on summer days is believed to be trace elements of Benzene. This smell is often overlooked as a common car odor, and people are unaware of the possible health dangers in breathing in this toxic chemical. While driving on a hot day it is always a good idea to keep your windows rolled down.
After discovering the dangers and ill-effects associated with asbestos, the use of the substance in everyday items and parts has been slowly faded out. Asbestos is known to be a leading cause of mesothelioma. New cars will not contain any trace of asbestos. However, it is possible that an older car may have automotive parts that contain asbestos like brake pads, hood linings, clutch plates, etc. If you have an older make or model automobile, then it is important that you are aware of the possibility of being exposed to asbestos. Have your local mechanic inspect your car for any old parts that may contain this toxic chemical.
Automobiles are potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong driver. At the same time, the chemicals and toxic substances found in the automobile can be just as hazardous. Car companies are continually attempting to improve the safety of automobiles, but hidden dangers might always exist.