Press Releases

Volvo Models Best in Interior Air Quality


For immediate release


GÖTEBORG (January 17, 2006) – An independent survey carried out by the Ecology Center in Detroit shows that the interiors of Volvo Car Corporation’s vehicles emit lower levels of toxic substances than other car makes.


The Ecology Center recently presented a study (Toxic at Any Speed: Chemicals in Cars & the Need for Safe Alternatives) of the toxic chemicals used in building vehicle interiors. Flame retardant PBDE and phthalates, whose main use is as a softener in plastics, were included in the study. These chemical substances can migrate from plastics and textiles, particularly at high temperatures, and interact with the vehicle’s occupants through their respiratory system. Certain types of phthalates and flame retardants have been shown to promote genetic mutations and can subject vehicle occupants to health hazards.


The survey reveals that concentrations of PBDE in dust and on the windscreen of vehicles are up to five times higher than in most homes, and since many people spend a lot of time in their vehicles, the interiors can have a significant affect on human health.


Volvo cars have the lowest phthalate emissions

The Ecology Center carried out the survey on 11 different makes of vehicles built between 2000 and 2005. The results showed that the interiors of Volvo vehicles have the lowest emissions of phthalates. There was even a lower incidence of the flame retardant PBDE in Volvo models than in most other cars, which, according to the research institute, makes Volvo Cars a world leader in interior air quality. The Ecology Center encouraged other manufacturers to follow Volvo’s example.


Dedication to a firm goal

“In an age when many people suffer from asthma and allergies, it is only natural for Volvo Cars to offer its customers a good environment, even inside the car,” comments Anders Kärrberg, Environmental Director at Volvo Cars. “In order to meet Volvo’s high standards, it is necessary both to use the right materials and to ensure that the air entering the car via the climate system is properly filtered. Volvo has been working for many years now on creating a clean interior climate which is also suitable for people who are particularly sensitive, such as those suffering from asthma and allergies.”


“The textiles and leather used in our cars meet stringent Oeko-Tex 100 standard, which ensures that fabrics and hides have been thoroughly tested to check for certain allergy-inducing substances. We also work with contact allergies and are phasing out toxic substances such as certain phthalates. Volvo’s IAQS air quality system has also been developed to clean the air and reduce the risk of allergic reactions inside the car,” concludes Anders Kärrberg.


The Ecology Center is an environmental protection organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Ecology Center works to promote a clean and healthy environment, not least through education and the implementation of various projects.


Volvo Cars of Canada Corp. is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 43 Volvo automobile retailers across the country. The company’s product range includes the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the versatile V70 wagon, the S60 sports sedan, the compact and sporty S40 and V50, and an XC-line of vehicles that includes the rugged XC70 and the award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle. For 2006, the company is proud to introduce the second-generation C70 convertible with a new retractable three piece hardtop.


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Doug Mepham

613-966-4969 office

613-922-6097 mobile


Chad Heard




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