Once found only in high-end European cars, cabin air filters are now used in about 30 million domestic automobiles and will be standard equipment in about 80 percent of the automobiles produced each year by 2006. Most 2001 or later-model vehicles have them.
"It's really a matter of common sense," says James L. Sublett, M.D., a board-certified allergist. "If we're concerned about the quality of air in our homes, we should be equally or more concerned about the air we're breathing in our vehicles."
That's because pollen, dust, molds and other particulates that trigger allergy, asthma and other respiratory-related symptoms almost always originate outdoors. In test studies, cars without cabin air filters contained more than eight times the carbon monoxide levels and over 40 percent greater concentrations of mold spores inside the cabin than vehicles with the filters.
If your car has a cabin air filter, Nunez recommends it be replaced every 12,000 to 18,000 miles. It's usually a fairly simple process, and cabin air filters can be purchased at just about any auto parts store.
For more information about cabin air filters and to learn if your vehicle uses this kind of filter, visit www.pureoil.com, an auto parts store or your auto service technician.
Cabin air filters help protect drivers and passengers by reducing airborne pollutants in the car.