As far back as the early 1990s, Mercedes-Benz was the first vehicle manufacturer to equip vehicles with pollen filters to safeguard the quality of the interior air. Depending on particle size, this prevents the intrusion of up to 99% of fine dust, fungi spores, diesel soot particles and pollen to the vehicle interior. In a subsequent development the air filters were fitted with a layer of activated charcoal for the retention of gaseous substances such as ozone, benzene, hydrocarbons and nitrogen dioxide, and so as to filter out unpleasant odours. In 1996 Mercedes-Benz's own internal standards set emission levels for materials used for components in the passenger compartment and boot. Today designers and developers can make their choice from a database of around 8000 interior materials that have been approved by the specialist department.
"Allergy-sufferers are often particularly vulnerable while travelling in a car", according to Professor Dr med. Dr h.c. Thorsten Zuberbier, Director of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF). "Watery, irritated eyes, nose itching can cause problems, and not only in the pollen season. These can be accompanied by weariness and diminished reaction capacity. People with extremely sensitive skin" says Professor Zuberbier, "are often exposed to materials and substances that can cause irritation. Allergy-friendly vehicle interiors can protect allergy-sufferers against harmful influences, and contribute towards greater safety and wellbeing for all occupants."