The basis of a car interior trim consists of parts which are made of plastic with the addition of adhesive and encapsulating materials. They can contain organic compounds like xylene or phenol, which are used as solvents for varnishes and paints, as well as during creation of epoxy resins.
High concentrations of phenol are toxic and negatively affect the mucous membranes and nervous system of a person. Also, a bromine and a chlorine are present in the interior of cars. The bromine is used for finishing fire retardants, and chlorine is part of the plasticizer, which makes the plastic more elastic.
Under the influence of direct sunlight, the bromine enters the human body, which can cause hormonal disorders or even decrease in hearing. In turn, chlorine is harmful to the kidneys and liver.
And do not forget about the lead, which new vehicles are generous with. Its evaporations are very dangerous and might even lead to disorders of the reproductive system.
Do you think the smell of genuine leather is harmless? As if! When it is made, aldehydes are actively used. And they are dangerous for the respiratory passages, irritate the mucous and impair vision.
Example of the negative impact of the smell of a new car on a person, it is worth mentioning the case that occurred in 2013 in the USA. The buyer of the new Tesla Model S fell asleep right behind the wheel, as a result of which he knocked down and killed the bicyclist. Further, the legal proceedings were started, during which the expert examination and chemical analysis of the cabin were carried out.
In speaking of the toxicity of new car interiors, it is necessary to mention the research of HealthyStuff.org ecology center, which in 2012 conducted a chemical test of 800 vehicles and compiled a list of the most "clean" and "toxical" models. It turned out that not always "ecological cleanliness" of the interior depends on the cost of the car. That was evidenced by the fact that a not cheap MINI had become the first in the toxicity of the interior! While the more popular and affordable Honda Civic, on the contrary, was named as the most harmless for the driver and passengers.
Summarizing all the above, it must be admitted that the older the car, the less toxic its interior. When it comes to Chinese cars, we must say the following: from year to year the interior of cars from the Greater China becomes less and less toxical, but at the moment, many of the new Chinese cars still remain quite dangerous for human health.
In conclusion, we'd like to say a few words about the car air fresheners. It is better not to experiment with such fresheners, and place in the car an auto bag of coffee or some kind of reservoir, where you can pour essential oils. It will be much better than synthetic smells.