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Jim's Jottings


That new car smell is sickening to others



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March 02, 2011 - We always loved our new-car smell. I've owned a lot of new cars of various models over the years.

Loved the smell. However, the approval was not unanimous. Of course, few things are.

But, nowadays car makers are engineering out that new car smell. And, for good reason.

A good friend realized a year or so ago that "new car smell" was causing her, at times, to lose track of her destination, though she'd be driving on very familiar streets.

She tried reasoning, and even went to Mayo Clinic for tests. They found no allergies. Her reasoning lead to exchanging air. Perhaps fresh would help.

And it did.

For months now, she cracks the windows when driving, and leaves them all the way down in her garage.

Today, some auto makers use product testers and "smell jurors" to select products and materials that don't contribute to that special scent once coveted by we new car buyers.

Everything from brake pedals to car seats, steering wheels to sealants, dashboards to running boards and carpets are sniffed.

With so many chemicals used in processing parts and materials there are a lot of smells. Some have to affect people, like my friend. Thus, auto makers -- like other, lawsuit-sensitive producers -- have become conscious of potentials injuries.

A couple years ago environmentally-friendly Martha Stewart discussed the literal "soup" of chemicals, such as arsenic and formaldehyde, in car's interiors.

European and Japanese car makers were quicker to get more serious about the indoor, in-car pollution than the American makers.

Today, they are into the challenge.

By the way, those pine tree hangers on your rear view mirror rarely work with their mixture of essences, perfumes, alcohols and solvents.

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Did you notice this President's Day was no different from all the others when it came to promoting it with pictures? Let me know if you saw any President's Day sales or stories that showed any president besides George Washington and Abe Lincoln

I guess all the others are unworthy, too controversial or or just never caught on like George and Abe.

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You should have been to our party the night the conversation turned to getting rid of skunk odors.

The first suggestion was to spread charcoal briquets on a tarp or something near the odor. The charcoal acts as an absorbent.

This suggestion quickly evaporated when Marge said she always heard douche did the trick. Bathe your dog or whatever in douche and the smell is eliminated.

Marge even gave us the trade name, but I'm not going to check that out. I do have limits, you know.

However, I did ask some dog-people about this cleanser and they confirmed it works.

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Heard these Lexiphiles? When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.

When smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.

A dentist and manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

Show me a piano falling down a mine-shaft, and I'll show you A-flat miner.

Police were called to a day care where a 3-year-old was resisting a rest.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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