Asbestos health risks abound for car owners, mechanics

James Raia

Proper maintenance for owner's first cars requires at least learning basic maintenance.

Automobiles are beneficial, but car exhaust releases harmful chemicals, including carbon monoxide, which accelerates global climate change.

In addition to harming the environment, car exhaust has many toxins harmful to health, again including carbon monoxide that can lead to asphyxiation in an enclosed area.

Car exhaust also contains high levels of benzene, which has been proven to be carcinogenic, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a known carcinogenic that also lead to birth defects.

Although it’s common knowledge car exhaust contains hazardous toxins, car parts also contain hazardous toxins.

Car interiors, for example, are toxic. Bromine, a flame retardant used to make many of the interior plastic parts, also contributes thyroid trouble, memory and learning disabilities, reproductive issues and behavioral problems.

Chlorine is also used to make many of the plastics inside a car. It is a main component, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), releases chemical molecules into the environment called phthalates.

Phthalates exposure has been proven to lead to problems in pregnant women, including premature delivery and birth defects. Phthalates also cause liver problems, fertility issues, blood problems and thyroid diseases.

Lead is also found in some car plastics. Lead poisoning leads to major nervous system problems, including brain damage. It can also cause blood, reproductive system and kidney problems. Children are especially susceptible to lead poisoning.

Some parts of car bodies can also contain hazardous chemicals, including asbestos. Found in cars manufactured before 2003 (almost all cars before the early 1980s), asbestos was used for its fireproof ability. It was mainly used in brake drums, brake linings, clutch plates and gaskets.

But asbestos is also the leading cause of mesothelioma, the deadliest form of lung cancer. And as such, people working on cars should always protect themselves from asbestos exposure by wearing a proper dust filtration mask.

For more information regarding the toxic hazards present in many automobile parts, visit: www.mesothelioma.com

Article Last Updated: February 10, 2024.

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