Dubai: Police toxicology experts have warned against sleeping in air-conditioned cars with closed windows, describing it as a potential “slow death”.
Experts at The General Administration for criminal Security at Dubai Police warned that in less than an hour, someone could suffocate as a result of a decrease in oxygen quantity.
While this issue could relate to both old and new cars, it is more likely to occur in older models with a lack of engine efficiency and full ventilation.
Lt Col Khalid Al Sumaiti, a forensic chemistry expert at Dubai Police, said how suffocation from toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, can occur in these types of cases and urged people to maintain car air conditioning units and those often powered by electrical generators in homes.
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colourless and odourless gas which binds with the red blood cells restricting the flow of oxygen which can lead to suffocation.
Lt Col Al Sumaiti explained that first aid should be used on any potential victim with CPR in cases of unconsciousness.
Contrary to popular belief, both cracking a window or running the air conditioner have an insignificant effect on the heat build-up and temperature spike inside a car after an hour.
Research shows, that with the glass and metal acting as a greenhouse, the interior of a car can heat up to an extra 4.4 degrees within an hour despite the outside temperature.
The temperature rises 80 per cent in a car in the first half an hour, and running the air conditioner will only delay the temperature spike by 5 minutes.