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 |  Feb 16 2012, 3:30 PM

You may love that new car smell, but don’t breathe in too deep – it could make you sick.

Automakers sometimes use volatile chemicals in its cars’ interiors and there’s a study out from the Ecology Center that lists the worst offenders and the safest bets. The problem with that “new car smell” is that it contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are bad for breathing, especially when it’s confined to such a small place – like a car.

Making the worst list are the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, the Chrysler 300C and the Kia Soul. In the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Ecology Center states that its interior “contained bromine and antimony-based flame retardants in the seating and center console; chromium-treated leather on several components; and over 400 ppm lead in seating materials.”

But you can breathe easy in certain vehicles. On the safest cars list, from an interior chemical standpoint, are the Honda Civic, the Toyota Prius and the Honda CR-Z.

You can see what cars make the worst and best lists after the jump.

[Source: The Detroit Bureau]

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