You get in your car, you turn on the air conditioner – sometimes without even thinking – and you either wait a while or start the engine immediately. Does this sound familiar? Although most people do it, recent research has shown that this is not a healthy practice as we don’t give our car the time to get rid of the cancer-causing chemical called benzene.
Why You Should Open Your Windows
Usually, whenever we leave our car, we close the windows. And although we may park in the shade, this doesn’t stop the machine from accumulating between 400 to 800 mg of benzene. Even worse, if you park in the sun, the level of this dangerous chemical can reach 2000, even 4000 mg.
So what’s the problem?
Although there has been little research when it comes to benzene and its acceptable levels indoors, studies (both in people and animals) have shown that Benzene causes cancer and leukemia. It makes sense then, that in order to keep yourself and people around you healthy, you should avoid exposure to this chemical.
The good news is – you can – simply by opening your windows before and after you start the car. But why shouldn’t you turn on the A/C before starting the engine?
In essence, because the A/C ejects the heated air out, including benzene, you want to enable it to eject that air outside – instead of your car, and well, your lungs.
Just to be safe, whenever you get in your car, open your windows for a few minutes and keep them open for a while after you turn on the A/C.
Even if you don’t notice the smell of heated plastic, it’s better to open your windows.