What is that smell in new your electronics and is it dangerous for your health?

So you just bought a new smartphone or a new laptop or a new computer, and you may wonder what’s that new plastic type smell.

Many of us wonder, where does this new smell come from and why does it go away as time passes by?

So what is that New electronics smell?

Everybody knows what a new car smells like right, its clean and it has that addictive scent that no one can figure out. This is sometimes used to make sure if a car is new.

So how is this new smell created? Basically, the smell comes from vaguely-toxic chemicals, which are also known as VTCs.

New cars are full of flame retardants, chemical starches, plasticizers, and adhesives, these materials are used in every car for a number of reasons. But all of these contains a small amount of VOCs, better known as volatile organic compounds.

Volatile organic compounds are those chemicals or compounds that go away once the room temperature goes down.

One example of this is formaldehyde, which is the reason behind that addictive fragrance of fresh paint, but that evaporates once the room temperature hits -2 degrees Fahrenheit.

This may sound weird and some may consider this as scary, but most natural odors are volatile organic compounds, but don’t worry, they are non-toxic.

Just like a vehicle, almost every electronic material you buy has glue in it, flame retardants, protective coatings, and plasticizers, these materials are full with Volatile organic compounds, as mentioned above they evaporate once the room temperature hits -2 degrees Fahrenheit.

But don’t worry, the smell will disappear eventually

The Volatile organic compounds smell goes away after some time, so if you may be wondering why the smell has been gone for some time, it is because the smell has evaporated into the air.

This process is called as “off-gassing”, and this is the main reason why electronics that are quite old and cars that are old do not smell like a new one.

A close up photo of an HVAC AC unit

Does VOCs affect your health?

At the beginning of this article, we referred the new car smell like a “vaguely-toxic”, this is because the government regulation forces manufacturers to use a safe amount of toxic VOCs.

For example, Formaldehyde, is dangerous to your health, especially to your metabolic functions, and is deadly when you inhale it or digest it.

So basically, if you are exposed to toxic VOCs for a long time, then for sure it can cause some health problems such as lethargy, throat irritation, eyes irritation, and even headaches.

A man who's happy because his laptop is fully offgassed

These health issues are called the sick building syndrome.

But remember, this is not permanent, you can avoid this by improving the ventilation of your room, if it’s your car then open your window, if it’s your room make sure you have proper ventilation.

Well if you work at a factory where electronics are manufactured, then you are also in danger. Why? Well, this is because long term exposure to toxic-VOCs is linked with cancer.

If you want to eradicate the health effects your new electronic smell is giving you, make sure you improve your air circulation by enhancing the ventilation of your house.

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