Duration in Car Affects Risk of Carcinogen Exposure

Suara.com – Getting stuck in traffic is common nowadays. But recently, researchers have found that people with prolonged traffic jams or longer car trips are at risk of inhaling dangerous cancer-causing carcinogens.

That’s according to a new study from the University of California, Riverside, which found that drivers who spend more than 20 minutes in a car are at risk of exposure to formaldehyde and benzene.

Reporting from USA Today, both are toxic chemicals embedded in vehicle carpets, paints and fuels. “This can lead to cancer and developmental disabilities,” said Aalekhya Reddam, lead author and graduate student at UCR.

In research published this week at jurnal Environment International, Reddam and his co-author, professor of environmental toxicology David Volz, calculated the daily dose of benzene and formaldehyde inhaled by the driver.

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They found that at least 90% of the population in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Santa Clara, and some high traffic counties in California, had a 10% chance of inhaling the chemical.

Illustration of woman driving (Shutterstock).

Actually, research on cancer exposure in cars is not new. Various studies have found a link between the length of time a driver is in the car and various forms of cancer.

But Reddam says no study has looked at people with long journeys. And this is a very relevant question in California.

Volz explains that the study in no way concluded that if you spend 20 minutes in the car, you will automatically develop cancer. However, according to him, the longer time spent in the car will increase the risk.

For those concerned about the risks, Reddam advises keeping windows open during the trip.

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“At least with some airflow, you will dilute the concentration of this chemical in your car,” he said in a news release.

The two researchers, however, emphasize the need for further research into the potential relationship between travel time in a vehicle and exposure to these two chemicals.

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