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Recent studies by have shown the Chevrolet Cobalt to be the healthiest vehicle you can buy in the North American market. Chevy’s own Aveo does abysmally on the test, but not as bad as the Nissan Versa. the most concering chemicals in cars include: “bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants); chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC and plasticizers); lead; and heavy metals. Such chemicals have been linked to a wide range of health problems such as allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer.” Heat and UV rays cause the chemicals to break down and begin circulating.

It may all sound wonky to you, but these chemicals are used to increase the rigidity, durability, or flame resistance of the plastics and non-metallic parts in your car. also says that these chemicals can do more than damage our health when we drive the car (for an average of 1.5 hr a day) but also when the cars are sent to junkyards, landfills, and incinerators.

The group used a portable X-ray Fluorescence device to analyze the basic composition of interior parts in over 200 vehicles. They do not claim that driving a Nissan Versa will make you cancerous or that a Chevrolet Cobalt will refashion your immune system to its best-ever state. They say the report is just a guide for comparison purposes.

These chemicals are contributors to that new car smell and help create the good feeling the automotive press has when they sit in a car with nice plastics. Some manufacturers are discovering ways to do this without the chemicals, and some manufacturers which display low chemical usage have yet to spread the doctrine to all factories.