It’s common sense not to leave your family, pets (even if it’s a cricket), or any other living things in a scorching hot car. When it’s 37°c outside, it’s possible that your car’s temperature can go up to 77°c.
However, there are certain items that you should never leave in a hot car, as these can affect your health and can cost you money for damages.
1. Fresh produce and food
Fresh products (meat, seafood, egg, etc.) are meant to be properly stored, usually in a cool place. The bacteria present in fresh produce can become activated and multiply when stored in a hot place. And if left for a long period of time in such a condition, the fresh produce will be spoiled.
This is the same case for cooked food. This is more critical since an unknowing consumer might eat a seemingly edible food and later experience food poisoning or other digestive problems.
2. Battery-powered devices
You know how your TV remote’s battery becomes all oily after leaving it somewhere warm for a long period of time? Well, imagine leaving battery-powered devices in your hot car. The battery can melt, leak, or break when subjected to intense heat (as mentioned, as high as 77°c). This can further lead to damage of the device.
If you’re lucky, your battery just loses power, and you would just need to replace it.
3. Electronic devices
Sustained exposure of an electronic device to heat can easily deteriorate its performance. Worse, it will overheat and stop working.
4. Liquid in plastic bottles
When a plastic bottle becomes heated, small amounts of BPA (bisphenol A) can seep into the water, juice, or soda. This is dangerous to your health, especially if always consumed over time. Large amounts of BPA in a human body can cause asthma, cardiovascular problems, reproductive problems, or potentially, cancer.
5. Pressurized canisters
Hairspray, body spray, aerosol sprays – examples like these, can set alight or explode when temperatures rise above 120°F, especially when confined inside a closed area, like a car.
Medications can become ineffective, and in some instances, dangerous to consume when previously subjected to high temperature or direct sunlight.
7. Items with plastic, acetate, nylon
Plastic items can melt in extreme heat. The most common advice related to this is to avoid leaving your sunglasses, since the frames and lens coating might melt.
The air in the enclosed car with heated plastic can be also toxic.
In hot temperatures, some products might melt (like lipstick, cream blushes, etc.). Also, there will be a change in smell, loss of affectivity of ingredients, and increase of bacteria, which can make your beauty product the worst nemesis for your skin.
These are just some of the examples of items that shouldn’t be left in a hot car.
As a general rule: if it’s valuable, if it melts, if it’s flammable, or if it’s bacteria-prone, then don’t leave it. And for your reference, always check the back of the items for the suggested storage temperature.
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