Non toxic furniture buying tips? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 01-02-2008, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,
I need help in buying non toxic furniture. Basically I'm looking for solid wood. I am also looking into buying second hand furniture because they are less offgassing.

What else should I look for in furniture? I've once bought a new futon with solid wood frame and it smelled really bad for a day or two. I thought solid wood won't offgass but it maybe be because of the varnish? or Is toxic glue used in most solid wood furniture? IKEA has some solid wood furniture but uses lacquer. Is the lacquer toxic?

What about sofa? Organic sofa is extremely expensive. I could get a second hand sofa and a fabric cover - which doesn't look very good though. And I wonder if the fabric cover would make a good barrier though.
I read about encasing toxic mattress with high thread count mattress cover.

My friend just made a low coffee table with cedar but she put a varnish on it.
I wonder if there is non-toxic varnish or if you can use oil.

Thanks so much!
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#2 of 3 Old 01-02-2008, 12:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sora View Post
Hello,
I need help in buying non toxic furniture. Basically I'm looking for solid wood. I am also looking into buying second hand furniture because they are less offgassing.
Second hand furniture can be great for this reason. Antique stores are a great place to shop for furniture, you can often find great furniture that is built solidly to last at a price not much more than the really cheaply made furniture you can buy new at places like Target.


Quote:
What else should I look for in furniture? I've once bought a new futon with solid wood frame and it smelled really bad for a day or two. I thought solid wood won't offgass but it maybe be because of the varnish? or Is toxic glue used in most solid wood furniture? IKEA has some solid wood furniture but uses lacquer. Is the lacquer toxic?
The varnish used for most wood furniture is definetly toxic. Also, "solid wood" furniture often uses plywood, which is held together by very toxic glues. Those off-gas too. My parents became extremely environmentally sensitive through a chemical exposure a few years ago (The get sick when around VOC's - Volatile organic compounds - the things that are off-gassing)
They can't buy most new furniture anymore unless they have it go somewhere else to off-gas for about a year - long after the smell is gone.

IKEA, especially in Canada, and toher places outside the US fireproofing laws, seems to be a really good choice from what I've read, they try to use at least less toxic products. I think I've seen a thread on Ikea here before, you may want to look for it.

Quote:
My friend just made a low coffee table with cedar but she put a varnish on it.
I wonder if there is non-toxic varnish or if you can use oil.
There are non-toxic (or at least less toxic) varnishes available, two I know of are Safecoat and Bioshield. The key-words to look for are "Ultra-low VOC" or "VOC free". Sometimes products labeled "low VOC" are worse than regular because some are designed to off-gas fewer VOC's at a time, causing them to continue off-gassing longer. The "Ultra-low VOC" products don't have this problem.

Good luck on your furniture quest.

Mama to three - DD : 1/03, DS 2/06, and DS 6/09.
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#3 of 3 Old 01-02-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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ikea also sells some solid wood furniture that isn't varnished (basically isn't finished at all), so that's a possibility!
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