Substances to absorb/adsorb HCHO vapours in car

In summary, the "new car smell" is composed of formaldehyde, which can be harmful to health and cause pulmonary diseases. Driving with windows down is one way to reduce the smell, but it may also bring in pollutants from city traffic. Activated charcoal is a possible solution to adsorb the formaldehyde vapours, but it may not be completely effective and there may not be a better alternative. Additionally, the risk of health effects from the smell in cars is likely minimal for the average person.
  • #1

Wrichik Basu

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I read somewhere that the "new car smell", which many of us like, is composed of formaldehyde, something that is not good for health. I also learned that it has tendencies to cause pulmonary diseases.

A good option to get rid of the smell is to drive with windows down. But doing that in the city traffic will bring in a large amount of pollutants, something that you don't want at all.

Since I have a car, I was thinking of ways to get rid of these vapours. Of course, I cannot stop the dust, but is there anything that can absorb or adsorb the formaldehyde vapours? Something that I can get nearby, and not go to a store selling chemicals?
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  • #3
Activated charcoal comes to mind.
  • #4
TeethWhitener said:
Activated charcoal comes to mind.
Does activated charcoal adsorb gases as well?
  • #5
Bystander said:
From the article:
VOCs probably ring a bell because they're air pollutants. And they can do a number on your health.
So, the smell does affect health. The point to be noted is, we never put down the window panes in city traffic, because all the members in my family are allergic to dust. So, the VOCs build up and their concentration increases, which is likely to cause more health trouble.
  • #6
Wrichik Basu said:
So, the smell does affect health.

Be warned. You should not take blanket statements like "X can affect your health" and try to extrapolate them to real-world situations. Especially if that statement comes from a news or news-like article. With the concentrations found in cars, especially cars that aren't new anymore, and the limited amount of time the average person spends driving, the risk is likely minuscule.

As for how to get rid of the VOC's, I doubt there's an easy and effective method that is less harmful to you, your passengers, and your car. But hey, I could certainly be wrong.
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  • #7
Wrichik Basu said:
Does activated charcoal adsorb gases as well?
It'll probably absorb at least some VOC's to a certain extent.

1. What are some common substances used to absorb/adsorb HCHO vapours in a car?

Some common substances used to absorb/adsorb HCHO vapours in a car include activated charcoal, zeolite, silica gel, and baking soda.

2. How do these substances work to absorb/adsorb HCHO vapours?

These substances work by creating a chemical reaction with the HCHO vapours, trapping them within their porous structure or binding them to their surface.

3. Which substance is the most effective at absorbing/adsorbing HCHO vapours?

Activated charcoal is often considered the most effective substance for absorbing/adsorbing HCHO vapours, as it has a large surface area and high adsorption capacity.

4. How often should these substances be replaced in a car?

The frequency of replacement will depend on the type and amount of substance used, as well as the level of HCHO vapours present in the car. It is recommended to check and replace the substances every few months to ensure their effectiveness.

5. Are there any potential risks associated with using these substances in a car?

While these substances are generally safe for use in a car, it is important to follow proper handling and disposal instructions. Some substances may release harmful chemicals if ingested, and should be kept out of reach of children and pets.

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