Chinese air quality regulations could put an end to ‘new car smell’

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The chemicals that make a new car smell distinctive can make some people feel ill

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Air pollutants that generate “new car smell” have been found at levels up to 10 times regulatory limits inside some models.

But new Chinese rules could put an end to the odour, which is generated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals that are readily released as gases by the materials that make up dashboards, seat covers and other fittings.

China, Japan and South Korea regulate VOC levels, in part because many people in Asia are deficient in the enzyme that breaks down …

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