Pesticides, phthalates, flame retardants and bisphenol have been found in many household products, including furniture.
According to a report in The Guardian earlier this year, furniture with polyurethane foam, for example, could have flame retardant chemicals present and should be avoided.
So how can you be sure that your furniture doesn’t contain harmful chemicals?
Hobart-based furniture maker and designer Nick Randall says that one of the best ways is to buy quality, handmade items sourced locally. Not only is it safer, but it’s also better for the environment and can save you money in the long run.
“By finding a reputable local maker who can design and make custom works which fulfil your exact needs, you can also specify that you require the materials such as timber be sustainably harvested and that glues and finishes are non-toxic.”
“Cheap, mass-produced furniture often only lasts for a short period of time, meaning that people have to regularly buy new work,” said Nick.
Nick said consumers should consider the following tips to ensure that their furniture is not only free of toxic materials, but it helps to reduce their environmental impact:
- Using organic materials such as untreated timber will mean your furniture is free of toxic chemicals.
- Selecting organic and non-toxic finishes and glues.
- Consider using sustainably harvested or salvaged timber – and seek the advice of a skilled furniture maker.
“By buying high-quality products in the first instance, you’ll save yourself money in the long run and you’ll create a safer and more environmentally-friendly home,” adds Nick.
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