Nontoxic Furniture Guide
Did you know that traditional furniture is made from conventional items that pose risks to our health?
Most are coated in flame retardants or contain polyester stuffing that breaks down over time, releasing chemical compounds into the air you breathe. Unfortunately, not all furniture is created equally when it comes to the environment and to our health. Many fabrics that are treated to prevent stains and water damage, are also the same type of forever chemicals you can find in Teflon pans.
Furniture contains chemicals that soak into your bloodstream and if you are pregnant, or nursing, you’d be shocked to know that sitting on such furniture means you are also exposing your unborn fetus to these chemicals, or to your newborn through breastmilk! One of the biggest issues are compounds known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) or Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs). These are released by our furniture, and it’s called off-gassing, or is otherwise known as a “new smell”. While furniture will release fewer VOCs over time, the harm of off-gassing can last for years, as it does in conventional carpeting.
The Best Nontoxic Furniture Brands
Masaya & Co.
The Futon Shop
Why Opt for Nontoxic Furniture?
There are many reasons why you should move forward with toxin free furniture. These chemicals have been repeatedly linked to cancer, disruption of the thyroid, as well as delayed mental/physical development, including cognitive delays and learning difficulties. Even more shocking, it can cause reduced fertility and birth defects. Children have a greater risk of exposure than adults when it comes to these harmful chemicals.
Why is this? This is because their skin absorbs more than adults, and they because they are closer to the ground, which is linked to increased inhalation of dust (which contains flame retardants), and sadly their immune systems are not as developed as an adult immune system. These chemicals have even been related to cancer in pets. Lounging on furniture often means more chemical exposure.
Conventional furniture is often made using veneer, plywood, or even MDF, which contains glues and adhesives that are full of chemicals such as formaldehyde and even phthalates. Even solid wood furniture can contain harmful substances if it is finished with toxic stains or paints. Avoid these harmful chemicals:
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers
Want a quick reference when shopping for furniture? Use the guide below to ensure the furniture meets all your standards before you purchase.
Safe Furniture Checklist:
Contains Organic Latex, Wool, Cotton or Kapok
Free of Olant Based of Soy Foams
Free of Polyurethane Foams
Free of water resistant or stain resistant chemicals
Uses organic or natural fabrics, such as organic cotton, linen, or hemp.
Is Made of Solid Wood
Does not contain harmful stains or even low VOC lacquers
May use Steel Springs
Free From Toxic Flame Retardants
Free of stain/ water repellants
Contains formaldehyde free glues
Has Greenguard Certification, GOTS or Oeko - Tex Certification