How Toxic is Your Furniture?
You buy organic food, you use non-toxic cleaning products, you have soft organic cotton sheets, you used amazing vegan and non-toxic paint, you even have houseplants to help clean the air in your home. Your place is a rockin’ clean, non-toxic environment, right? Well … Maybe … depends on what kind of furniture you have.
Your couch or bed may not burst into flames easily, but it could make you really sick
In 2012, Duke University, University of California Berkeley, and Boston University collaborated on research to establish the toxicity of flame retardants in furniture. They studied 102 couches bought between 1985 and 2010. Don’t know when you last bought a couch, but my beast falls into that range.
85 percent of the couches tested contained flame retardants, including Tris, which is a known human carcinogen that was banned from baby clothing back in the 1970s. Yikes. Here’s a good article that offers a lot of details on the study.
That’s just the beginning. There are VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) glues and other chemicals in the foam cushions that aren’t much friendlier, and I don’t think we have any idea what they do when they interact, either!
Is that oh-so-comfy memory foam mattress out-gassing and making you sick while you sleep?
Unless it is an organic mattress from a reputable company, most mattresses have chemical compounds that out-gas for many years. Just because you may not smell it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Mattresses — memory foam ones in particular — are loaded with a foam that spews isocyanate into your airspace. Doesn’t sound good, right? It isn’t. Studies show that isocyanate can cause headaches and respiratory problems. Not to mention the VOC glues and here we go with that flame retardant again … yup. No burning bed here. I suppose if you smoke in bed, this might be warranted …
So, what’s the alternative?
We talked to one company called EKLA Home, who makes clean and healthy AND eco-stylin furniture this week on the Green Divas Radio show. Listen to this show to hear what EKLA has to say about toxins in our furniture and homes, plus hear Green Diva Gina’s excellent Foodie-Phile segment on foods that detox and get her recipe for winter detoxing roasted beet salad. yum.