Entry #1401, July 22, 2012
Older furniture that has been in your family for years, or that you bought from a vintage furniture store may look beautiful but how safe and eco-friendly is it? The veneer of any furniture has certain duration. This is not only a concern on how it looks but rather the safety for your family. Whether you are placing the furniture in a child’s room or it will be used in public areas, there are tips to consider the safety of the finish.
In most cases the presence of gas in finished furniture is concealed for a period of time. Although, some compounds continue to produce gas consistently and will result in toxic contamination, or when the finish is chipped it can expose chemicals that are harmful. Here are some more tips to consider:
- Without knowing the compounds used, it is impossible to estimate the length of off gassing. This may cause allergies, inflammation and can lead to internal health issues in your family. Consider repainting or staining over old furniture once you get it to seal off old off gassing issues.
- Kids interact with the furniture every day. You just can’t take the furniture away from them especially when they study, sleep, rest, play and other daily routines. Consider not using old stained and painted furniture in children’s rooms unless you are able to cover the old finish with a green paint or stain. With aging furniture, the danger is just around the corner. This may cause accidents and risks of health issues.
- As the coating of your furniture wears, soft wood or metal joints can become brittle, chip and crack. These can cause injuries and abrasions to anyone who comes in contact with. Not to mention that with brittle foundation, the furniture will take its toll on its stability. To prevent this, ensure your furniture doesn’t have physical damage and is structurally sound.
If you are buying new furniture, many of these factors wont be an issue. While when shopping at your favorite garage sales and are making decisions on the safest finish to choose, look for furniture that hasn’t be repainted or stained many times. When buying new furniture, ensure that the finish is identified as non-toxic and lead-free with no formaldehyde or various dangerous chemicals present. Also, purchase furniture that is labeled as organic or eco-friendly. This will guarantee that the finish is safe for your kids. Use these tips to help you determine if your older furniture is safe for you and your family.
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