New Car Smell

“New Car Smell” made major headlines last week with Ripple’s release of the latest data on toxic chemicals in cars. The Michigan-based Ecology Center tested over 200 of the most popular 2011- and 2012-model vehicles for chemicals that off-gas from parts such as the steering wheel, dashboard, armrests and seats. The Honda Civic had the least amount of lead, bromine and PVC in their cars, while the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport had the most. Since the average American spends more than 1.5 hours in a car every day, toxic chemical exposure inside vehicles can be a major source of indoor air pollution. We publicized the results, available at the consumer-friendly website, plus the accompanying widget and mobile phone application. As a result of our outreach, 400 television stations featured the story, plus CBS National Radio, USA Today, CNET, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Wired, WebMD, GreenBiz, Auto News and more.

The good news is, since the Ecology Center first started testing cars in 2007, overall vehicle ratings have improved. The best vehicles today have eliminated hazardous flame retardants and PVC. Today, 17% of new vehicles have PVC-free interiors and 60% are produced without Brominated Flame Retardants.

Anyone looking to buy a new car can visit and search by model, comparison shop between different models, and cross reference with fuel economy standards to find both a healthy and fuel-efficient vehicle. The full list of top 10 best and worst cars can be found here:

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