ALERT: Carcinogenic Chemicals Found in US Vehicles Raise Cancer Risk 

United States: In the latest finding, researchers have found the source of carcinogenic chemicals in American cars. However, there is likely to have a way to lessen that risk, as the scientists have found out. 

More about the study 

The study revealed that the people of America breathe in chemicals originating from the Flame Retardants (FR) in their vehicles. Such chemicals can bring various health problems of different types ranging from developmental neurotoxicity to thyroid hormone dysregulation and even cancer, Fox News reported. 

A peer-reviewed scientific journal, Environmental Science and Technology, published the study under the name “Flame Retardant Exposure in Vehicles Is Influenced by Use in Seat Foam and Temperature” on Tuesday. 

Carcinogenic Chemicals Found in US Vehicles Raise Cancer Risk. Credit | Getty Images
Carcinogenic Chemicals Found in US Vehicles Raise Cancer Risk. Credit | Getty Images

The type of chemicals found 

According to the research findings, the kinds of chemicals found in flame retardants are various forms of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which were in vogue until the early 2000s, kinds of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and organophosphate ester flame retardants (OPEs). 

What does the federal government say? 

A safety standard for the optimal level of presence of flame retardant has been fixed by the federal government, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made compulsory to implement in the 1970s. 

The study noted, “Flame retardant (FR) chemicals are intentionally used in electronics, furnishings, and building materials to meet flammability standards,” as Fox News reported. 

About flame retardants 

“Most [flame retardants] are used in an additive manner (i.e., not chemically bound), and many are semivolatile, indicating that they can be present in both the gas phase and partially in the condensed phase (e.g., particles and surfaces), depending on environmental conditions,” the study added. 

Americans who drive professionally or face long commutes may be at a higher risk of harm from the chemicals. 

More about the study findings 

The study paper stated, “These findings highlight that commuters are likely to be exposed to [flame retardants], especially those with longer commutes or those who drive vehicles full time as part of their employment.” 

“In addition, children, who breathe a greater amount of air per kg body weight compared to adults, would also be at risk of greater exposures for equivalent commuting times,” it added. 

Additionally, drivers and passengers living in warmer states experience a high risk of inhaling flame retardant chemicals. 

However, lowering the windows of cars, turning off ACs, and parking in covered garages might help reduce the inhalation of dangerous chemicals, explained the study. 

According to the study, “Increasing ventilation by opening vehicle windows and avoiding recirculating interior cabin air may also reduce exposures,” and “However, the greatest reduction in exposure from vehicle air would come from significantly reducing the number of FRs added to personal vehicles.”