For anybody that suffers with environmental allergies, spring and summer can be brutal. Dust mites and pollen can wreak havoc on sinus cavities, ears, and eyes whether inside or outside your car. Many automakers have taken precautions to help minimize the pain of allergy sufferers, and Ford seems to have gotten the formula down... at least in Europe.

The soon to be available for purchase Ford Mondeo has received the coveted "Allergy-tested seal of approval" from the German TÜV Rhineland group. The vehicle earned this honor as the result of eliminating materials like chrome and nickel from the cockpit, using low-emission adhesives, and allergen-tested textiles and leathers. The Mondeo also has a high-tech pollen filter that eliminates pollen from the air. Ford's newest example of Kinetic design joins the Focus, Ka, S-MAX and Galaxy as the only vehicles on earth to earn TÜV allergy certification.

For whatever reason, Ford's Euro-lineup always seems to be better-looking and more richly-appointed than what we can get here in the States, and we're often left wanting. Now even those with allergies are left with something to sneeze at. We know, that was bad. The press release is available after the jump.

[Source: Ford media site]

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NEW FORD MONDEO AWARDED "ALLERGY TESTED INTERIOR" SEAL OF APPROVAL

Award confirms Ford's high quality standards and maintains Ford's leading market position of allergy friendly interiors

COLOGNE, 21 May 2007 – Customers considering buying an all-new Ford Mondeo, the most technologically advanced car ever launched by Ford in Europe, now have one more reason to make it their vehicle of choice. The new Ford Mondeo has been awarded the German TÜV Rhineland group's "Allergy Tested Interior" seal of approval.

Together with the Ford Ka, Focus, S-MAX and Galaxy, Ford of Europe now offers five vehicles t o the increasing number of consumers looking for allergy-friendly products. Ford vehicles are the first in the world that have passed the stringent TÜV standards. The new Mondeo goes on sale in Europe later this month.

"We are very proud to receive this TÜV approval and consider it confirmation from a highly-respected organization of the high quality standards of our vehicles," said Dr Wolfgang Schneider, vice president, governmental and environmental affairs, Ford of Europe.

"W e regard it as our responsibility to offer our customers products that address the growing concerns about allergies. That's why we aim to get as many as possible of our existing - and future - models certified to TÜV standards," he added.

The TÜV certification assures that the car's interior materials were selected in order to minimise the allergy risk to the lowest possible level. The TÜV is an independent, authoritative German testing and assessment organisation that controls and certifies quality standards for industrial and consumer products.

An extensive series of scientifically verifiable tests was carried out on the new Mondeo, as on the other Ford models tested earlier, in accordance with strict TÜV examination procedures. More than 100 materials and components were tested for harmful substances and allergy causing potential.

In addition, all components likely to have direct and prolonged skin contact such as the steering wheel and seat covers, floor mats and seat belts were dermatologically tested.

To achieve certification standards, Ford development engineers working on the interior specification of the new Mondeo decided to avoid using materials such as latex, chrome and nickel that can provoke allergic reactions in some people.

Additionally, the vehicles are equipped with a high-performance pollen filter, which was also tested by the TÜV. The filter effectively prevents pollen – a particular concern for allergy sufferers – from entering the vehicle's interior.

The measurement and assessment criteria are published on the Internet (www.tuv.com; ID number: 0000021252).