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Toxins Off-gas and Pollute the Air in Your Home
Have you ever noticed that smell when you buy a piece of unassembled furniture? You take the pieces out of the box and are overcome by a terrible stench that may even instantly give you a headache if you are sensitive like me. That is the smell of chemicals and toxins off-gassing from the materials used to make the pieces. The wood particles, MDF, glue, paint, varnish, and solvents contain harmful ingredients, including formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and toluene.
When I learned about this, I decided that I would do my best to vote with my dollars and buy the cleanest, greenest furniture I could afford. See this post about buying mattresses. When I was pregnant with my first child in 2010, I researched the best crib options on the market and selected the Argington Sahara crib. This is no longer in production. Other brands that I would recommend include Oeuf, which has a few different designs at varying price points, and Babyletto, which has a very reasonably priced 3-in-1 crib. For your design aficionados, check out this gorgeous crib by Nurseryworks.
When my son upgraded to a twin bed, and we needed to also buy him a nightstand and a dresser, I selected the clean, practical furniture from urbangreen based in Brooklyn, NY. I selected the Basics twin bed with the 3-drawer storage underneath. I selected the solid maple construction and unfinished “finish,” to further reduce exposure to chemicals. I am really happy with the quality of this furniture and heartily recommend it. I also loved that when it arrived, there was absolutely no smell or off-gassing. My daughter will be ready for her big girl furniture soon, and I will again turn to urbangreen.
Finding an affordable, durable green sofa has been harder for me. Sofas are notorious for their synthetic fabrics and petroleum-based foams infused with flame retardants. Yet, the truly green options on the market are very expensive. We can’t yet afford to replace our sofa with one of these yet, but I am putting the following brands on my vision board for the future.
Fortunately, a key change in the California fire safety standards made in 2015 is pushing all major furniture brands to eliminate the use of flame retardants, so at least greener options are becoming more mainstream.
Do you have a favorite brand of green furniture? I would love to hear about it!