Honda has taken it on the chin for its boring redesign of the Civic, but here's one thing it got really right: reducing the use of toxic chemicals as it manufactured the interiors. According to the Ecology Center's new report on HealthyStuff.org, the 2012 Civic uses the least amount of off-gassing plastics, materials that can lead to emissions of volatile organic compounds. VOCs have been linked to health problems, including cancer and birth defects, according to the report.
While BMW is powering its Spartanburg S.C. paint shop with recycled methane gas, Ford Motor Co. has developed a fumes-to-fuel system which allows conversion of the volatile organic compounds (VOC's) given off by paint fumes into fuel that generates power, according to a Detroit Free Press article. Paint shops around the world produce nearly 70 million pounds of paint fumes, which are collected and burned in incinerators, a process which requires a fair amount of energy. The Rouge Center in Dearb