5 Tips When Choosing Furniture To Improve Your Indoor Health
Older Furniture Most Likely Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals
Many of us already know the dangers of the sofa or mattress we have in our homes. When replacing furniture today we have to just as mindful as ever. First of all, older mattresses and sofas within the entire United States, if purchased before 2013, contain fire retardants and toxic chemicals. Most sofas and mattresses that are made from polyurethane foam contains hundreds of toxic chemicals. These chemicals become airborne and are absorbed into our bodies. These toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer and many other health disorders.
Try To Avoid Foam Mattresses
The dust that is leaching out of your furniture and spreading throughout your home needs to be vacuumed and eliminated as often as possible, especially if you have babies and pets crawling on your floors. Have you ever seen dust particles on a sunny day swirling around your living or bedroom? In addition to these dust particles, chemicals too float around in the air and settle in your carpet or drapes or other furniture. Some of this comes from decomposing foams in your mattress and furniture. Actually the older foam gets the more deadly it becomes. All the foam mattresses and furniture that pass green guarding today may not pass green guarding when it is 4 or 5 years old. So buy beware!
Look For Natural Materials
If you can purchase a mattress or other furniture without polyurethane foams, memory foam or gel, your health and your families health will be safer. Try to find natural materials and fibers for the ingredients in mattress and furniture making that you can buy safely. Low VOC finishes, hand rubbed oils, instead of varnishes and lacquers. Buy coils, coconut coir and latex instead of polyurethane foam’s and gels.
Wool Is a Great Natural Fire Barrier
Buy wool instead of Dacron Polyester or PLAs. Instead of mattresses that use chemical flame retardants, look for natural mattresses that uses wool fiber as the fire barrier. This is not only natural, but it does not off gas. Better still is to purchase products with organic cotton instead of conventional cotton.
Avoid Furniture That Uses Formaldehyde
When choosing furniture for your home, it is important to be aware of the potential hazards that some new furniture contains. Two of the main concerns are over formaldehyde as well as chemical flame retardants. Below is a short list of what to look for when purchasing new furniture.
Solid hardwood frames and plywood made without urea formaldehyde (UR resins). Look for FSC or SFI certified wood products, made in the USA with water-based adhesives.
Water-based stains and low VOC sealers and finishes. Natural stains such as linseed are also available.
Flame-retardant-free cushions - cushions with natural flame barriers are available.
Non-toxic, water-based glues used to assemble the frame and the cushions. Natural fiber cushions or soy-based foam alternatives (30% soy foam appears to be the highest readily available option today with remaining foam being polyurethane).
GREENGUARD and GOTS Certification — These certifications identify interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions. All certified products meet stringent emissions standards based on established chemical exposure criteria. Learn more at www.greenguard.org. Fabrics that meets the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which mandates that at least 70% of fibers are derived from organic sources and do not contain chemical dyes or other additives. Learn more at www.global-standard.org.
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