I’m looking to buy a 2012 Honda Odyssey with leather upholstery, however I have a delayed allergic reaction to 4-tert-Butylphenoformaldehyde resin (from here on out PTBP) that is used as an adhesive with leather and rubber. The Honda sales staff have not been able to find out if it is used in the interior of the car. I have found PTBP in a Lexus RX300 that my parents own, so I have to limit my time in their car. I’m not keen on dropping $40K for a car just to find out I can’t ride in it. I’ve taken a couple of test drives in it, but unfortunately it takes about 48 hours of cumulative exposure to get the first signs of PTBP’s presence. PTBP off-gasses, so even if I’m not in direct contact, it will eventually get to me, especially in a confined area.
How should I proceed? Is there a way to get a list of the substances used in the car’s manufacture?
Link: PTBP Material Safety Data Sheet
If you are that sensitive to this substance, get a car with cloth upholstery. Cloth is easy to clean, and is not as “cold” in the winter. Just forget leather and you have no issue.
Contact American Honda Cars here:
Telephone numbers are on the right side of the page and half way down. If they can’t help you, find out how to contact Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama plant, where the Odyssey is assembled. Here’s their web site:
The seats are obtained from an outside supplier who buys the hides from several sources…I doubt you will EVER be able to answer your question…
would it be possible to leave your windows cracked while the car sits to help get the fumes out of your car?
Maybe you could rent one for a week or two and see what happens.
UncleTurbo - Don’t have much of a winter down here Unfortunately Honda bundles options in a way that means leather is just part of the package.
jtsanders - Thanks. I found a number for Honda’s Lincoln, Alabama plant on the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce website. I spoke to a chain of people and got to one of the manufacturing liaisons who will be calling me back in a day or so. Hopefully with some useful information.
Caddyman - Fortunately, it isn’t used in the manufacture of the leather. It is a glue between the leather and the door or the steering wheel. That being said, I too doubt I will really get an answer for liability reasons.
bscar2 - Good idea, however, I’ve run into the same problem on a sail boat where air flow wasn’t restricted. The off-gassing is a minor problem compared to direct contact (likely source is the steering wheel and the door panel). Boats are worse than cars in this regard though. PTBP is used in fiberglass, neoprene, and lacquer. Also, getting PTBP wet releases the allergens.
lion9car - I’m having trouble finding a rental agency with Honda Odysseys in their fleet. Alamo uses Toyotas and Budget uses Dodge. American Honda was unaware of a rental agency with them in their fleet.
I suppose another option is to buy the car and if I detect PTBP then take it to a body shop and have them replace the steering wheel and driver/passenger side door panel interior with ones the non-leather versions. Not my first choice though.
Are you hyper allergic to the stuff, let it cook in the sunshine for a few weeks that should solve a lot of the outgassing problem.
Solution for getting the seats wet would be ooreing the window visors. They allow the windows to be down a little bit while keeping rain and snow out of the car. JCWhitney doesn’t carry them yet, so they’re probably dealer only right now, and a $250 option
That type of information is going to be hidden deeply within the seats’ design specifications. Materials and adhesives would generally be determined by the seat manufacturer and the final seat design qualified on a Honda “specification control drawing” that designates the particular manufacturer and seat part number.
Bottom line: it’ll be almost impossible to find out…unless you can find out the seat manufacturer and get them to let you know what kind of adhesive they use.
I’m with those that suggest simply getting cloth seats. And take some good long test drives…with teh windows closed.
I have a Honda Pilot 2010, and my hands have an allergic reaction to the leather steering wheel. I’ve tested positive for 4-tert-Butylphenol, aka PTBP or CAS No. 98-54-4
Cloth gloves are one of the few things that help reduce the contact allergy. Won’t be buying autos with this type of steering wheel next time. Wonder if there is a chemical that I could treat the resin on steering wheel to permanently bind the resin so it cannot absorb into my skin? Seems like this resin is being used more often across many related products to make leather more sticky.
When attempting to buy the car,
MAKE IT A CONDITION OF SALE.
Get everyone involved in the potential return agreement, the dealer pricipal, the finance office, not just the salesman. STRESS how imperative this is that in a couple weeks you might need to return the car…ie; a two week ‘‘test drive’’.
If direct contact is the trigger, try the gloves suggested but also put cloth seat covers over the leather ( my wife’s car has that )