I am looking into buying a new car. Do you have any recommendations for things to look out for? Hybrid or gas? Leather or cloth? Particular things to eliminate or request to reduce toxicity? I am planning to get a large enclosed truck or van to cart around things and dogs. Honda, Ford, or Toyota?
Hydrogen vehicles would be best of any offered because they do not produce gaseous monoxides and reduce dependency on oil but refueling is nearly prohibitive because very few fuel stations exist. Electric vehicles are my next preference because they do not produce gaseous monoxides and reduce dependency on oil, unless the electricity used in your town is powered by oil or coal. Yet, we must consider that, as all vehicles, electric vehicles produce very high levels of EMFs (electromagnetic fields). Hybrids use less gas and are a step toward reducing gaseous monoxides and other airborne combustion pollution but they produce high levels of EMFs, as most cars do.
The accepted safe level of EMF is considered 3 miligauss amongst more health-conscious individuals. I notice that if I am exposed to higher levels of EMFs for more than 2 hours, I develop symptoms of mild fibromyalgia. If I expose myself to 5-10 hours, symptoms increase proportionately, I become not only sore but achy and stiff. I can sit for hours at my computer and not have the same results, so it is not that I am sitting for so long without moving.
I suggest that you test all vehicles for EMF emissions. Consider that EMFs emitted in the driver's seat are usually the highest. The next worst, I found under back seats in cars where batteries were stored under seats. If children sit in back seats, their gentle cells are much disrupted and may modify behavior unfavorably, making them weak, sore, achy and cranky.
When you shop for a vehicle, I suggest that you take an EMF meter with you while someone else drives. You will find that all vehicles are much higher than the safe 3 miligauss limit. My 2003 Prius hybrid (Toyota) has EMF levels of 8-50 at the foot pedals. The faster my car goes, higher EMFs are produced, especially at foot pedals. So, most of the time when I drive, I place my feet on the mound between driver and front passenger where EMFs are rarely over 18. My 2003 Prius does not have a console as the later Priuses do, so I have that advantage. Best to keep legs and feet as far from pedals as possible and drive as much as possible with Cruise Control feature. Be sure to get a car with Cruise Control.
However, if a CD or tape plays, EMFs increase to 50-150 miligauss. It would be best to install a CD player in the trunk of the car but far enough from back seats so that children and other passengers are not affected by the high EMFs.
I had leather installed in all of my past vehicles because fabric upholstery is plastic and creates lint. It is unhealthy to breathe plastic lint. It must be dissolved in the body to eliminate it in the mucous membranes of sinuses, throat, esophagus, bronchi, bronchioles and lungs. Plastic contains many hormone-disruptive chemicals as well as toxic carcinogenic polymers and epoxies.
After you buy a new vehicle, there will be many noxious toxic fumes produced by various products of which cars are made. I suggest you open all windows and doors and let the vehicle bake in the sun for up to 30 days to help speed the major outgassing process of new products. When driving during that 30-days drying period, leave all windows down and wear a gas mask to prevent inhaling exhaust fumes from other cars. If you live in areas with inclement weather, I suggest blocking rain or snowfall with an awning to prevent rain or snow from filling your open car during that major outgassing process. Also, get a car with a good air filter for interior of vehicle to help absorb further outgassing and environmental pollution while driving or riding in your new vehicle.