Carpets, curtains and carcinogens

By Hazel Muir THE creature comforts that keep you cosy could be a magnet for benzene pollution from car exhausts. Benzene levels are higher in houses than outdoors, especially in colder northern countries where carpets, wooden floors and linoleum are common, say researchers in Europe. Benzene is a known carcinogen, and pollution from car exhausts is thought to contribute to leukaemia cases. To study people’s exposure to emissions, Vincenzo Cocheo of the non-profit Salvatore Maugeri Foundation in Padua and his colleagues monitored the average outdoor benzene levels in six European towns: Antwerp, Athens, Copenhagen, Murcia,
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