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Pollutants inside Vehicles

Micro-organisms Growing Inside Your Car

While pollutants tend to enter the car cabin from outdoors, serious toxic contaminants actually originate from and grow within the vehicle’s ventilation system.

Today’s modern ventilation systems and air-tight cars work almost like incubators providing the damp, dark environment conducive to the growth of molds, mildew, viruses, and bacteria. Watch the 2-minute video on germs in your car.

Molds thrive in dark, damp places such as vehicle ventilation systems, which are conducive for mold growth. If left to multiply, harmful spores and mycotoxins are regularly released into the passenger compartment.

Viruses are transmitted from person to person via dust particulates or droplets in the air. In an enclosed area where the air is re-circulated such as the confined space of a vehicle or an airplane, viruses can spread rapidly to all passengers.

These thrive in humid and warm surroundings and have been found to breed in air-conditioning systems in cars.

Mildews are very similar to mold but tend not to create harmful mycotoxins. Mildew prefers the same environments as mold and is more likely the cause of the unpleasant odors coming from ventilation systems.

Visit In-car Air Quality page


Regardless of its make or model, your vehicle could have a problem with mold. Since you can’t always see it, though, you might not know you have a problem until you start to feel the effects.”

“The problem goes way beyond a nuisance and in many cases causes such respiratory problems as sneezing, coughing, tightening of the chest and drowsiness…a single-cell organism that grows in the dark and wet environment in your car’s air-conditioning system.”

“It can collect at the bottom of the housing or on the evaporator fins and become a perfect place to grow mold and mildew. This is the cause of a persistent musty smell.”

Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology – Research paper verifying the presence of fungal colonization in automobile ventilation systems

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