Thursday, March 30, 2023

Is it true that turning on your car’s air conditioning right away will make you get cancer?

LifestyleIs it true that turning on your car's air conditioning right away...

Recently, a Facebook graphic went popular warning about the dangers of turning on the air conditioning just after starting the engine.

This actually began to spread via email in 2009, but it has only lately made its way to Facebook.

People shared it a tonne because it is so widely disseminated and they would rather be safe than sorry. Evidently, some of us would follow the advice and wait after starting the engine before turning on the air conditioning.

The rationale for this is because the air freshener, dashboard, and sofa all release benzene, a carcinogen.

The amount of benzene in the car increases tenfold when it is parked in a hotter environment, making the entire vehicle a cancer-causing agent. When you turn on the air conditioning right away, the door closes as soon as you open it, trapping you inside with a hazardous amount of benzene.

The notion regarding benzene is true: under certain hot conditions, the dashboard, chairs, or air fresheners do emit benzene. They don’t release benzene alone, of course; other things like glue, paint, and furniture do as well.

There’s a reason to be concerned then, right?

Not quite. You see, the truth is that in this case, very little benzene is actually released. Even if we consider the benzene released from engine fumes, which is the hottest and greatest amount of benez, it is far less than the 400 mg to 4,000 mg stated in the urban legend, at only 0.013 mg to 0.56 mg. For goodness’ sake, we’re talking about the exhaust.

Older vehicles may have higher levels, but they are not 400 mg high. Definitely not 4 mg. All vehicles would have been recalled if that were the case!

If your automobile is extremely hot when you get in it, it is still advised to open the window or door for a time. The explanation is straightforward: because the space is so heated, the hot air within can actually do more harm than the benzene.

Ventilate if in doubt at all times.

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