The Ecology Center based in Miami in the United States has released its fourth consumer guide to toxic chemicals in cars. The info reveals that the Honda Civic tops the list of vehicles providing the owners with least toxic interiors, while the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport finished at the bottom. Over 200 of the most popular 2011 and 2012 model vehicles were tested for chemicals that off-gas from parts such as the steering wheel, dashboard, armrests and seats.
These chemicals contribute to “new car smell” and a variety of acute and long-term health concerns. Since an average American spends more than 1.5 hours in a car every day, toxic chemical exposure inside vehicles can be a major source of indoor air pollution. As of now, 17% of new vehicles have PVC-free interiors and 60% are produced without BFRs.
As per the HealthyStuff.org, top ranking cars among this year’s releases are Honda Civic, Toyota Prius and Honda CR-Z respectively while the worst ranking were Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Chrysler 200 SC and Kia Soul.
The Civic achieved its top rank by being free of bromine-based flame retardants in all interior components; utilizing PVC-free interior fabrics and interior trim; and having low levels of heavy metals and other metal allergens.
Meanwhile, the Mitsubishi Outlander interiors contained bromine and antimony-based flame retardants in the seating and center console; chromium treated leather on several components; and over 400 ppm lead in seating materials.
Here’s a video that explains the ranking: