Advice on toxic furniture? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-20-2007, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there I wonder if any of you would have any knowledgeable advice to give? I just bought a dresser to use for the baby which will be arriving soon. It's new, however it's a pretty cheaply made, fake wood type of thing. Now that I've learned a little about how toxic the fumes are, especially to babies, I wonder if it would make a significant difference to paint the inside and outside (as I won't be able to return it or buy another one at this point). I know that the toxic fumes are due to the off-gassing of the glue and chemical treatments to the material, and over time (a long time) the fumes start to wear off. Anyway, my guess is that a good paint job will greatly reduce these fumes. Does anyone know for sure?? I can't seem to find the answer definitively. (Oh and I also read from one paint "expert" that all modern day finishes are non-toxic, a statement which sounds questionable to me but again, I wonder if any of you know for sure? I plan to use quality water-based paints FWIW.) Thank you in advance for any info you have to pass along!!
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#2 of 7 Old 07-20-2007, 02:35 AM
 
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I do think painting with a low VOC paint would be better than the formaldehyde, etc. that is offgassing from the partical board the dresser is likely made with. My husband is a builder and he agrees...we are not experts on the matter though.

Good to hear that you are thinking along these lines- lucky baby

warmly,
jenn
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#3 of 7 Old 07-21-2007, 05:52 PM
 
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DH and I talked this over and he thinks the best thing to do would be to get a new dresser as paint is porous and painting it to keep the offgassing from escaping would be like 'painting a sponge and hoping it would not soak up water'.

I know this is not advice that you want to hear

warmly,
jenn
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#4 of 7 Old 07-21-2007, 08:51 PM
 
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Since this one will be new, maybe you can sell it on craigslist and use that money to buy a used solid wood piece (should be cheaper).

If you really do need to keep this one though, I'd leave it sit outside in a protected area (or in a garage or something) for a couple weeks or longer if possible to avoid exposure to the offgassing. It isn't going to stop after that time, but the strongest fumes are in the beginning.

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#5 of 7 Old 07-21-2007, 09:14 PM
 
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i think you should maybe use something else to store babies clothes in. it stinks that you bought is before u realized the hazards of it. i've done that and I hate it when that happens.

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#6 of 7 Old 07-22-2007, 07:25 PM
 
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We bought a piece of baby furniture (cheaply made) and it stunk sooooo bad when dh brought it home that I made him return it (bought locally). He bought another one w/ a different finish, (thinking it was the finish, which it may have been), but it stunk too! We put it in the garage to air out for a few weeks... All that did was stink up the garage (even w/ the garage doors open) Seriously... my eyes were watering! So that one went back too.

My advice is to buy one previously owned/used in excellent condition from a non-smoking/ clean home.


hth

FWIW-We bought my oldest dd expensive, real wood furniture and it smells too... just not as bad.

All natural sahm to dd1(12yo) and dd2(6yo). Married 16 years.

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#7 of 7 Old 07-24-2007, 11:17 PM
 
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For future reference-Ikea has furniture that is not only affordable but most of it is sustainable and low VOC. Their website has more info and you can order online. The website also provides recycling information on their furniture.
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