During the manufacturing process, most furniture that has material on it tends to have tons of chemicals hidden in it. Even your wood furniture and solid furniture probably has toxins that you may need to mitigate to avoid getting sick. While everyone can be harmed by the toxins, not everyone is sensitive to them. But if you have anyone in your family suffering from unidentified and unsuccessfully treated allergies, look at your furniture.
Ten Common Toxins
Used in resins, dyes, and rubber production, this chemical gives the “new-car” smell to new cars. It is probably a carcinogen in humans, based on studies on rats. It can cause eye irritation, skin rashes, and respiratory problems.
Found in detergents and dyes, it may be on your furniture regardless of the material used. It depends on the type of wax, resins and other items used to manufacture your furniture. It can cause many side effects, ranging from headaches to chronic fatigue, and even aplastic anemia. This substance is a known human carcinogen.
Probably the most recognized chemical found in furniture, formaldehyde is used on many materials such as pressed wood, glue, many fabrics, and coatings for products that make them shine. The side effects of exposure are watery burning eyes and nose, burning throat, coughing, wheezing and more. You can even get nausea and skin irritation to top it off for this nasty toxin.
This chemical is a flame retardant and is used in a lot of soft furnitures like sofas and mattresses. Sadly, this toxin can end up in breast milk and the entire food chain. You can even carry it on your body to a new environment. It can cause reproductive issues and neurological effects in some people.
Your non-washable fabrics often have this chemical on them. It’s nasty and can cause kidney problems, behavioral problems, and more. Many people have problems with co-ordination and even unconsciousness from exposure. It is thought to be one of the reasons people get non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
This chemical stays in your body for many years after exposure and can cause you to have liver issues, kidney problems, weight issues and more.
What is difficult about this toxin is that it’s literally used in everything that is manufactured. It’s in sheets, it’s in tiling, it’s in your carpet, and it’s on your upholstery. This chemical can affect sexual health and can cause deformities in the genitals.
This is another flame retardant that can leach out of the materials it’s added to and pollute the air that you breathe. It is thought to cause behavior problems in children, although there is not as much proof yet about this one.
Symptoms of exposure include headaches, chronic fatigue, liver issues, kidney issues, and immunity issues.
A common toxin added to paint, adhesives, and other similar products can cause respiratory problems and a lot of coughing and inflammation. It caused tumors in rats’ nasal passages with testing.
Regardless of the type of toxins in furniture that you’re dealing with, you can lessen the effects somewhat. Of course, the best option is not to buy anything with these chemicals when possible. Also, buy used when you can because used items have often finished off-gassing or will do so for a shorter length of time, thus making your environment safer.
The other thing you can do is clean the furniture properly, add plenty of house plants to help clean the air, and air your home out occasionally. If you can let items off-gas outside or in a garage before you bring them into the home, that will help too. Add an air purifying fan that gets rid of VOCs, and ensure that you have plenty of ventilation for anything that is off-gassing right now.