Science & Tech

A serious secret risk lurks in almost every car, scientists warn

A serious secret risk lurks in almost every car, scientists warn

Scientists warn there is a serious risk every time you get into a car, but it’s not what you might expect.

Cars are part of our everyday life, but experts have long warned that things like filming TikToks behind the wheel are extremely risky and could land you with a hefty fine.

But while many are aware of the risk that crashes pose to our health, many are unaware that the actual interior of our cars are made of potentially dangerous materials that also potentially pose a serious health risk.

It comes as researchers found that 99 per cent of cabins of vehicles manufactured in the United States since 2015 had potentially carcinogenic materials in them.

The US and Canadian researchers behind the study found that materials used to meet flame retardant safety requirements could actually be causing us harm due to the chemicals inside them.

“Our research found that interior materials release harmful chemicals into the cabin air of our cars,” lead author Rebecca Hoehn, a scientist at Duke University, explained.

“Considering the average driver spends about an hour in the car every day, this is a significant public health issue. It’s particularly concerning for drivers with longer commutes as well as child passengers, who breathe more air pound for pound than adults.”

The air inside 101 different cars was analysed by the team, who found 99 per cent contained tris (1-chloro-isopropyl) phosphate, also known as TCIPP – a flame retardant under investigation for links to cancer and commonly used on textiles and fabrics.

Tris (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCIPP) and tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) were also found in most vehicles tested and also with possible links to health issues.

Experts found the concentration of the chemicals increased with heat, increasing two to five times in the summer compared with winter.

While the presence of these chemicals is known, it is not yet clear just how dangerous the concentrations are for our health.

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