If you're like me, you can't stand the smell of a new car.
Last week, my daughter asked me to come along with her to car dealerships to test out a few SUVs she has had her eye on.
She was able to save up a lot of money to buy herself a new set of wheels, and I was excited to help her choose.
My financial situation has never been great, so I've always bought second-hand cars. After I went out for a ride with a couple of new ones, I don't think I'll ever regret making that choice.
Without getting into too much detail, the smell of "luxury" didn't sit well in my stomach.
To my surprise, it does for most people. My daughter was even looking at me funny.
People love that smell so much that companies have made air fresheners that "eliminate odor with a new car smell scent."
I can understand that everyone's nose is stimulated differently, but there must be a reason that some people get really sick when they sit in a new car for a few minutes.
You'd think that it's just an allergic reaction, like how some people sneeze when a room is too dusty. Apparently it has nothing to do with that.
The new car smell is actually toxic and can have some grave repercussions for your health...
While the smell does fade overtime, that first year your car reeks of these toxins is impacting your overall well-being.
According to microbial investigator Robert Weitz, people are smelling volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when they enter a brand new vehicle.
The materials that release that toxic scent include polyurethane, polyester, paint, plastic, and sealants.
"There are many VOCs that cause cancer (carcinogens) and most will produce symptoms in many individuals including respiratory, headaches, and joint and muscle pain. We are all built differently and the VOCs have different effects on all of us," Weitz told Reader's Digest.
Tips to avoid getting sick
If you're looking for a win-win, buy a used car. It'll be cheaper and healthier for you at the end of the day.
But if that's not an option, open your windows as much as you can to allow those toxic gases to be released faster.
You can do this by rolling down your windows while you're driving and leaving your windows rolled down in your garage, even if it's cracked open.
If this scary truth behind the smell of your new car shocked you, check out why making your bed every morning is making you sick.