The interior of a brand-new vehicle could contain more than 30 times the acceptable level of volatile organic chemicals, known to cause symptoms of illnesses linked with sick building syndrome, according to a recent study by a public health researcher.

Toshiaki Yoshida, chief researcher at the Osaka Prefectural Institute of Public Health, said it takes over three years for the level to fall below that set by the state.

This form of air pollution remains little researched, although the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has set a provisional target limit for such chemical residues within vehicles in response to an increase in people suffering the syndrome.