How Allergy Friendly Is Your Car?

Ford Focus C-MAX

Ford C-MAX

Ford Focus C-MAX receives first ‘allergy tested’ Seal of Approval

With Spring around the corner, one in every three of us will be affected by some form of allergy as the season peaks and now your choice of car can help.

According to recent figures*, over 20 million people in the UK suffer some form of allergy, including four out of every 10 children. In a recent survey by national charity, Allergy UK, 78 per cent of respondents were women, while 25 per cent endured nasal allergies and almost half were victims of hayfever.

Ford Focus C-MAX is helping customers create an allergy friendly environment, having just been awarded an official ‘allergy tested’ Seal of Approval from the British Allergy Foundation and German testing organisation, TÜV – the first ever such accolade for a car.

Experts from both organisations have certified that the Focus C-MAX interior consists exclusively of materials that reduce the risk of allergies to the lowest possible level. Extensive, scientifically verifiable test series were conducted to analyse cabin air quality and the concentration of organic substances such as formaldehyde, phenols, phthalates, or solvents. Components likely to have direct and prolonged skin contact such as seat covers, floor mats and seat belts were also dermatologically tested.

During Focus C-MAX’s development, Ford avoided materials such as latex or nickel, which can provoke allergic reactions with allergy-sensitive people, while Focus C-MAX is also fitted with a high-performance pollen filter, to prevent pollen accessing the car’s interior.

Chief executive of the British Allergy Foundation, Muriel Simmons said: “We’re thrilled that Ford is so seriously responding to the issue of allergies in children and adults. This is a great day for both Ford and our own organisation as the Focus C-Max is the first vehicle ever to be awarded our ‘Seal of Approval’.”

Although the award is new, Ford’s work in this arena is not; since 1984, Ford has applied extensive, worldwide materials management to all its cars, ensuring materials used do not negatively affect the health of drivers or passengers.

“Allergies are still underestimated. They affect the lives of a great number of people of all ages”, said Derrick Kuzak, Ford of Europe Vice President for product development. “That is why Ford will continue and expand this initiative. It will not happen overnight, but we’re committed to having allergy tested interiors in all our cars”.

*Source: British Allergy Foundation (Allergy UK) Survey, May 2003 (6,000 people surveyed). Allergy UK is the leading medical charity for people with allergies.

Published 22 March 2004 Melanie Carter

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