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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.

Say what?!

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

  • Savvy Rest

  • Avocado Mattress

  • Viva Terra

  • Eco-vibe

  • Atlantic Furniture

  • Medley Home

  • Thuma

  • Masaya & Co.

  • West Elm

  • Pottery Barn

  • CB2

  • Ecobalanza

  • Couch Seattle

  • Cisco

  • The Futon Shop

  • Copeland

  • Greenington

  • Alabama Sawyer

  • Mash Studios

  • Pure Upholstery

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:

  • Formaldehyde

  • Phthalates

  • Acetaldehyde

  • Perchloroethylene

  • Benzene

  • PFOA’s

  • Vinyl Acetate

  • BPA

  • Trichloroethylene

  • 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:

  1. Contains Organic Latex, Wool, Cotton or Kapok

  2. Free of Olant Based of Soy Foams

  3. Free of Polyurethane Foams

  4. Free of water resistant or stain resistant chemicals

  5. Uses organic or natural fabrics, such as organic cotton, linen, or hemp.

  6. Is Made of Solid Wood

  7. Does not contain harmful stains or even low VOC lacquers

  8. May use Steel Springs

  9. Free From Toxic Flame Retardants

  10. Free of stain/ water repellants

  11. Contains formaldehyde free glues

  12. Has Greenguard Certification, GOTS or Oeko - Tex Certification

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