In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from materials used in automotive interiors. VOCs are carbon-based chemicals that can easily evaporate at room temperature, leading to potential health and environmental concerns. One particular area of interest is the use of coated thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPEE) in automotive interior components, which has been found to emit elevated levels of VOCs. This article aims to provide a scientific review of the research on VOC emissions from coated TPEE in automotive interior applications, highlighting the potential health risks and environmental impacts associated with these emissions.

Coated Thermoplastic Polyester Elastomer (TPEE) in Automotive Interiors

TPEE is a type of thermoplastic elastomer that is commonly used in automotive interiors due to its flexibility, durability, and resistance to heat and chemicals. It is often coated with various materials to enhance its appearance and functionality, such as providing a soft touch or a glossy finish. These coatings can contain a variety of additives, including plasticizers, stabilizers, and pigments, which can contribute to VOC emissions when the material is exposed to heat or sunlight.

Elevated VOC Emissions from Coated TPEE

Several studies have demonstrated that coated TPEE materials used in automotive interiors can emit elevated levels of VOCs. These emissions can occur through a process known as off-gassing, where the chemicals in the coating gradually evaporate into the surrounding air. Research has shown that the levels of VOC emissions from coated TPEE can vary depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to sunlight.

Health Risks and Environmental Impacts

Exposure to high levels of VOCs can have adverse health effects, including eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Long-term exposure to certain VOCs has also been linked to respiratory issues, neurological problems, and even cancer. In addition to potential health risks, VOC emissions from coated TPEE in automotive interiors can contribute to outdoor air pollution and the formation of ground-level ozone, which can have detrimental effects on air quality and the environment.

Regulatory Standards and Industry Practices

Regulatory standards for VOC emissions from automotive interior materials vary by region, with some countries implementing stricter limits and testing requirements than others. The automotive industry has also been working to develop and implement best practices for reducing VOC emissions from interior materials, including the use of low-emission coatings and the adoption of sustainable manufacturing processes. However, more research and development are needed to further mitigate the impact of VOC emissions from coated TPEE in automotive interiors.

Mitigation Strategies

Several strategies can be employed to mitigate the VOC emissions from coated TPEE in automotive interiors. These include the use of alternative coatings with lower VOC content, the implementation of improved ventilation systems in vehicles, and the development of advanced testing methods to quantify and monitor VOC emissions. Additionally, consumers can take steps to reduce their exposure to VOCs by regularly airing out their vehicles, avoiding prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, and choosing interior materials that have been certified as low-emission products.

Future Research Directions

As the automotive industry continues to evolve, there is a need for further research on the VOC emissions from coated TPEE in automotive interior applications. This includes investigating the specific chemical compounds present in the emissions, understanding the factors that influence the off-gassing process, and assessing the long-term health and environmental impacts of exposure to these emissions. Additionally, collaboration between researchers, manufacturers, regulatory agencies, and consumer advocacy groups will be crucial in developing comprehensive solutions to address the elevated VOC emissions from coated TPEE in automotive interiors.


The use of coated TPEE in automotive interiors has raised concerns about elevated VOC emissions and the potential health risks and environmental impacts associated with these emissions. While regulatory standards and industry practices have been developed to mitigate VOC emissions, further research and collaboration are needed to address this issue comprehensively. By identifying the sources and impacts of elevated VOC emissions from coated TPEE, the automotive industry can work towards developing safer and more sustainable interior materials for vehicles, ultimately promoting the health and well-being of consumers and the environment.

In conclusion, the scientific review presented in this article underscores the importance of continued research and innovation to address the elevated VOC emissions from coated TPEE in automotive interiors and the potential health risks and environmental impacts associated with these emissions.

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