Scientists from Harvard and the Beijing Institute of Technology examined the air inside new cars parked outside for 12 days.
The review revealed that the amount of formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical, in the vehicles was 35 percent higher than the Chinese national safety standard. Acetaldehyde, another carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) in the interior air of the vehicle was also found to be 61 percent above the prescribed safety limit.
Experts found that people who spend an hour and a half in a car every day are exposed to formaldehyde and acetaldehyde in excess of the prescribed safety limits.
The research also found that the levels of these dangerous chemicals increase during hot weather.
In a paper published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science, the scientists wrote that the observations expand understanding of the chemical transport and emission systems inside the vehicle.
Scientists have warned that the smell coming from a new car is actually a toxic mixture of harmful chemicals from the dashboard, steering wheel and seats.