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Formaldehyde in the Furniture: Is Your Baby At Risk?

Formaldehyde in the Furniture: Is Your Baby At Risk?

Environment California Research & Policy Center purchased 21 products intended for use in a babyís nursery and hired a professional laboratory to test them for toxic chemicals. The results of the lab tests were released last week.

Products tested included several brands of cribs and changing tables, wastebaskets, lamps, shelves made from composite wood, wall hangings and several window valances. Four changing tables and two cribs contained formaldehyde levels in excess of air quality standards set by California in 2008. This included the Child Craft Oak Crib, which had the highest formaldehyde level of the 21 items tested, emitting 3,680 micrograms per hour. By January 2009, California’s standards will require building products to emit no more than 259 micrograms per hour. (Child Careís president said that their crib meets the latest safety standards established by federal consumer protection mandates and expressed confidence that tests he is conducting will refute these findings.)

Fifteen of the 21 nursery items were found to emit relatively low levels of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical often used in composite wood furniture and cabinets, draperies and other home furnishings. The Environmental Protection Agency considers it a probable carcinogen and studies show that excessive exposure increases the risk of asthma and respiratory problems. Babies and children are especially vulnerable to formaldehyde exposure.

To avoid formaldehyde, buy solid wood furnishings made of non-harvested woods. If you must purchase a crib made of composite wood/particle board, seal it in completely using a specially designed, non-toxic sealant.

Read more on Care 2 about creating a healthy crib.

Click here to download Environment California Research and Policy Centerís report.

Read more: Babies, Family, Health & Safety, , , ,

By Terri Hall-Jackson, Care2 Healthy & Green Living contributing writer

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


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3:53AM PST on Feb 13, 2014

Buying baby's furniture with guide might be useful for the parents. No one wants to unsafe his/ her baby. We know that the baby products are expensive, then also the parents prefer them for the safety of their baby. Baby furniture like cribs, baby cots, stroller, etc are awesome to use and make your baby more happy !!I personally prefer them. :)

6:31PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Thanks for the article.

7:22PM PDT on May 10, 2011

Most of Aaron's furniture has stage 1 ..... so does rent a center and buddies ... lot of furniture has it in it

12:49PM PDT on Aug 10, 2010

Is this technique older or a newer way of making materials for the furniture, because the furniture in my house is fairly old, except my living room furniture, what shout expect, which one is hazardous?

3:01PM PDT on Jul 21, 2010

Our man-made products come with a price.....we may be able to create what we things we think we need, but at what cost.

8:03PM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

I usually buy used furniture.

8:47AM PDT on Jun 11, 2010

I had no idea that formaldehyde was being used in furniture. Is this in American-made products or furniture from other countries, like China? Because of all the problems with melamine, etc., I do not trust anything made in China any more. I can only hope that such products and components are not being manufactured in the US. Does anyone know offhand?

11:45AM PDT on Apr 16, 2010


11:01AM PDT on Jul 28, 2008

Formaldehyde is lerking every where....go to a Safety Blanket...put it in your new car, RV,camper,newly painted room,line your cabinets & drawers, etc.The Safety Blankey is a green product,envoiromentally safe, effect and inexpensive.

10:57AM PDT on Jul 28, 2008

Formaldehyde is everywhere...there is a safe , simple , grren solutions to formaldehyde in your RV, camper, cars, newly painted rooms,cabinets etc. Go to and get a Safety Blanket made from wool.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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