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Are hybrids or diesels healthy?

I am looking to buy a new carbon with a small carbon footprint. I have heard that hybrids and electric vehicles have electromagnetic fields and that no one is sure if prolonged exposure could be harmful to humans. I have also heard that even clean diesel cars like the A3 diesel may emit a smell that causes headaches. Does anyone know if either of these rumors are true?

Small carbon footprint = keeping your existing car on the road.

You’re worried about your “carbon footprint”, electromagnetic fields and headache inducing odors? Golly, maybe you should just stay home.

Really though, no modern automobile is going to give you cancer and none will gas you to death. Buy whatever makes you happy.

It is really difficult to get honest accurate data on something like hybrids vs diesel vs your current car.

They are different enough that they are difficult to compare. Both diesel and hybrids have proven better than I would have guessed a few years ago. That said, I don’t think the data is out there yet to make a clear choice.

Remember, that the footprint of mining the raw materials and making the steel etc. all are part of the total. Often the producers and even independents, fail to consider all the cost of pollution produced to build drive and dispose of a car.

That said both hybrids and diesels seem to be doing well. I would like to see a life cycle or two on the hybrids before I really support them however.

Personally I drive a diesel, too old to be the cleanest diesel technology, but clean enough that the mileage means I am driving cleaner than most cars.

If you read it on the Internet it MUST be true.

Do you use a cell phone? If so, the electromagnetic field surrounding the cell phone is probably more harmful than the electromagnetic field in a hybrid vehicle.

You don’t carry a hybrid vehicle in your pants pocket, or hold it up to your head.

Think about it.

Neither of these are a problem that will add to your health woes if you live in a modern world. Unless you are secluded, towns and cities are wrought with pollution that far exceeds what you’ll get from either one of these.
Choose either…be happy.

I wouldn’t want to get into a bad accident in a hybrid with that high voltage in all those battery packs - that doesn’t seem like it would be very healthy.

Once those batteries get old (10 years), what happens to them? Is the life cycle of these batteries, from mining to disposal, really environmentally friendly?

Living under power lines or using an electric blanket are much worse than driving a hybrid.


A tin foil hat will counteract the effects the electromagnetic fields that electric/hybrid vehicles give off. I read it on Jimmy Hoffa’s website.

There has been no study by an unimpeachable researcher that shows EMF causes cancer. If you can show me something from NIH, Duke, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, or the Mayo Clinic, I’ll pay attention. This story has been going on for decades with respect to high power distribution lines. They have not been proven to cause cancer yet.

Adding to the junk science was an Eddie Murphy movie, “Distinguished Gentleman”, where, as a self-serving congressman, he goes to bat for a kid disfigured from living under a powerline. People who don’t read anything credible tend to believe this stuff.

The fact that no one else was affected by these powerlines was not addressed.

As for allergies, I am allergic to the following; scented Tide, expensive and cheap perfume, potpourri, chicken manure, cat dander, new carpet outgassing and a few other things. However, I would not want any of these substances banned. Old style diesel exhaust bothers me but the new diesels smell OK; 6 weeks in Paris (where almost half the cars are diesels)and I don’t recall any nasty diesel smells.

In other words, both hybrids and diesels are “healthy”, unless you smoke in them or drive them carelesly.

I’ll take three!

Figure out what you want and buy it. You cannot worry and over analyze everything that comes into your life. If you did then you would live in a 1 room apartment, naked and fretting about how much pollution was created to make your tofu.

Any and all electric motors create electromagnetic fields. We have survived dishwashers, washing machines, and electric motors everywhere in our lives thus far. The electric motor in a car is bigger than most and therefore has a stronger magnetic. Doubtful that it will prove to have any harmful effects.

Diesels can give off odors, so can a gas car. Some gas cars had a strong “rotten egg” smell in the early days of catalytic converters which caused concern. If you are susceptible to frequent headaches perhaps a diesel is a bad option for you.

Virtually any new car gives off few pollutants compared to cars 10 or 20 years old. If you want to be “green” a new conventional Honda Civic has very low emissions, gives great mpg, puts little “carbon” in the air, and doesn’t have the technology that seems to concern you.

Just don’t buy a Hybrid, or a diesel, if you have these concerns. As soon as you experience a headache you’ll blame it on the car. Stick to conventional cars and you are still doing your part to be a good “green” citizen.

Darn it, FoDaddy and circuitsmith, you beat me too it!!!

“Figure out what you want and buy it. You cannot worry and over analyze everything that comes into your life. If you did then you would live in a 1 room apartment, naked and fretting about how much pollution was created to make your tofu.”

I resemble that remark ! :=)

The high-voltage battery is about 100 times LESS dangerous then 20 gallons of gas when you get into a accident…I’d be far more worried about the gas…I know Toyota and Honda did extensive tests and built safety features into those packs in case of an accident.

Creating the battery is an environmental nightmare (nickel is not nice to mine and process). So including the creation of the car, and the disposal of said battery when it is dead, and some mechanical engineers will say that a Prius has a higher impact (footprint) than a Hummer. It may not be that high, but it is closer than you think. A highly efficient gas or diesel car is the way to go, IF your existing car is that bad. If is not, that is the best way to keep your footprint down, the car is already built.

I resemble that remark ! :=)

Wait a minute…in a previous post you said you had a 2 room apartment. (: