Thursday, December 22, 2011

Guest Post - Different Toxic Substances in Automobiles

I was contacted by a fellow blogger who has some great insight regarding all the different health hazards associated with many materials used in the manufacture and maintenance of our cars.  Here is a quick post he did on the subject.

Be sure to check out his profile and take a look at his blogs.  Goof stuff.

Different Toxic Substances in Automobiles
by Brian

Click to Enlarge

Our society is accustomed to finding out different items we buy are potentially dangerous to our health. Every time you watch the news, they are recalling one product or warning of the dangers of using another. Even things that are supposed to be healthy may be potentially killing us. Manufacturers use many dangerous chemicals to make ordinary items, such as carpets, furniture, and even clothing. Vehicles are made with the same dangerous chemicals, plus a bit more.

Automotive parts are the biggest offender when it comes to health risks. No matter what year a vehicle is, more often older vehicles, care should be taken when working on brakes or the clutch assembly, since these areas have the highest concentration of asbestos. Other areas where asbestos fibers can be found include any parts that are exposed to high heat temperatures. Without the proper protection, you can inhale the fibers, causing asbestos exposure. Exposure can cause a multitude of health conditions, such as lung cancer, breathing problems, and mesothelioma.

Sitting in a new car can be equated to smoking about a pack of cigarettes a day. Although you will not find all the same chemicals in a car as a cigarette, there are still many carcinogens, toxins, and heavy metals in the air.

Bromine and xylene are found in plastics manufacturing, and can cause health conditions including difficulty breathing, and even cancer with long-term exposure. Bromine can also cause fertility issues and cause memory loss.

PVC has been known for years to cause health issues, since it contains phthalates. Phthalates cause various hormonal imbalances and can cause harm to unborn children, including premature birth and mental impairment.

Tests have shown that lead can be found in various parts of different cars. Lead is very dangerous to everyone, but has the most impact on children. It can cause damage to the circulatory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems, and was banned from household items years ago.

Keep in mind, even the chemicals you use for your engine can wind up in the interior air of your car. Experts suggest that you ride with your windows down as often as possible to reduce your exposure to dangerous chemicals. Most of these chemicals take years or decades to dissipate. Even then, some remain. Others are not dangerous in cool weather, but high temperatures can cause the compounds to evaporate into the air.

In cases like this, perhaps switching to commuting by foot may be much better for your well being for more than one reason.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Next Audi R8 Will Be DSG Only

The manual transmission apocalypse continues it's march as Britain's "Car" magazine is reporting that the Audi R8 will replace it's sad automated manual transmission with a new 7 speed dual clutch setup that will eventually become the only transmission option when the new R8 come out in 2014.

Row em while you've got em.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Car Guy Movie Review - Senna

Let me preface my review with this, I am not a big Formula1 fan and I don't think I ever saw Senna race back in the day but like many gearheads I know of his life and death.

With that said, this is easily one of the best racing movies/documentaries I have ever seen.  Everyone knows how talented and passionate he was but this movie really goes above and beyond that with lots of rare footage of Ayrton Senna outside of racing and behind the scenes.

If I had to sum the movie up in one word it would be amazing.  But just one word would be selling it short.  It's also inspiring, touching, and heartbreaking.  I highly recommend it.  It is streaming on Netflix right now.  Check it out.