Hidden Toxics in Automobiles

Cars are great modern inventions that help transport us faster and quicker than ever before. It is no doubt that cars help make our lives easier and allow us to do much more than we could before. However, when we begin an auto restoration project, we do not always realize some of the possible negative health effects possible for mechanics. Some of the hidden hazards of cars are very subtle, but it does not mean that they do not exist or pose a possible health threats at times.

A lot of the hidden hazards that are related to being exposed to automobiles do not only have to do with the air we breathe- such as the threats of carbon monoxide, etc. In a muscle car restoration, parts of the actual cars themselves can pose health threats to mechanics as well as drivers, especially those of older car models. This all has to do with how the parts of these cars were made. Certain mechanically parts such as brake pads, hood liners, clutch linings, etc. have been known to have asbestos in them. Asbestos is a potential health hazard because if it is ingested or inhaled it can lead to respiratory inflammation and/or other complications. Prolonged or extreme exposure to asbestos can lead to a terminal illness known as mesothelioma.

Another toxic substance in some cars that can pose a health hazard is lead. This can be found in some of the paints used on cars, and just like chipped paint containing lead in a building, chipped paints containing lead on cars can pose the same health problems. If one is exposed to too much lead, this can cause all of the symptoms of lead poisoning which are not to be taken lightly. Many older cars have paint that contains lead, and as the condition of the paint on these cars deteriorates over time, it is important to take the necessary precautions such as painting a new coat of lead-free paint.

Yet another hidden toxic substance found during hot rod restorations that we may not be aware of is the presence of bromine. The interior of many older cars included this substance in parts such as seat belts and dashboards. A prolonged exposure to bromine can cause health complications such as breathing problems and even at a more minor level, can still cause unpleasant sensations in the skin, throat, and nose.

Even though a lot of older cars may appear to have more hidden toxins than newer ones, you just never know what kind of hidden toxin your car may have. It is important to check the condition of the interior and exterior of your car to look for wear and tear and is highly recommended to have regular maintenance done to ensure optimal vehicle status and performance.

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