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Quality of Air Inside New Cars

This is a system aimed to make assessments in order to induce the manufacturers to produce safer motor vehicles.
  • Quality of Air Inside New Cars

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What is the new car syndrome?

A consumer, who has purchased a new car, may have experienced the unique scent of the new car at least once give or take.

The cause of the scent of new cars are all types of chemical substances(volatile organic compounds such as benzene, etc.), which are discharged from interior materials(chemical interior materials such as seat, headlining, flooring, floor mat, dashboard, etc.) inside the new car.
These not only inflicts symptoms detrimental to one’s body such as fatigue, headache, eye or skin irritation, etc., but also causes the driver to neglect keeping one’s eyes peeled on the road, manifestation of decline in cognitive ability, etc. in a special environmental condition called motor vehicle, that is, a mobile space.

Standards for the maintenance of the quality of air inside newly-built motor vehicle

To counter this ’New Car Syndrome’, the government has formulated「the Standards for the Maintenance of the Quality of Air Inside Newly-built motor vehicles」for the public to drive safely and protect their health.
The standards for the maintenance of the quality of air inside newly-built motor vehicles as matters advised on a national level which induces the manufacturers to voluntarily abide by the standards, which we expect they will not only be conducive to the protection of public health and safe motor vehicle driving but also, serve as a turning point in securing international competitiveness through the enhancement of technological potentials of domestic motor vehicle manufacturers.

Where do detrimental substances come from?

The detrimental substances that stem from new cars are composed of somewhere between more than 200 types of volatile organic compounds and complex scents of volatile organic compounds(VOCs) spring from floor mats, seats, headlinings, processed oil of high molecular materials from infill components such as dashboards, additives, fillings, raw materials, pigments and dyes, incombustible materials, plasticized materials, adhesives, etc.

  • With the elapse of 3~4 months, after the new car is manufactured, its initial density is drops to 75%~95%. So ventilation should be actively done at the initial stage of its purchase.
  • If the car is ventilated by opening the window when driving or set on exterior air circulation mode, the initial pollution density drops by 90% within 2~3 minutes. since it retains the volatile property of the detrimental substances discharged from the new car, if the plastic cover is not removed, they will linger inside the car for long.
  • The plastic cover attached to the new car should be immediately removed.
  • Take precautions against having the car contaminated not only by detrimental substances discharged from interior materials but also smoking and external foreign matters and, always see to it that a clean and pure indoor environment is created by frequently replacing air-conditioner filters, etc. Materials discharging volatile organic compounds(VOCs) from interior materials inside new cars

Materials discharging volatile organic compounds(VOCs) from interior materials inside new cars

Density per matters of interior materials of passenger cars(medium-sized) (㎍/m )[Source of Reference: Korea Transportation Safety Authority]