When I was a kid, I had a simple diet. My Star Wars lunchbox was packed daily with a PB&J, a carton of chocolate milk and an apple. At noon, the PB&J emerged somewhat squished, but it was a delicacy, nonetheless, and I ate it with gusto.
Today, such traditional fare would have me banished to a special “nut zone,” a table in the school cafeteria for those with nut-based lunches. Dangerous nut allergies – in fact, all allergies – have been on the rise for years, mystifying medical experts.
Public-health officials have identified another unexpected hazard: new furniture. Dermatologists are seeing an epidemic of skin rashes associated with new sofas and chairs from China. The culprit? Possibly the anti-mold spray with which furniture is doused before being stuffed into shipping containers bound for the U.S.
Many of us in the furniture business are concerned about another potential hazard: performance fabrics, which are hugely popular now in homes. Performance fabrics are fire retardant, stain and fade resistant, highly durable and easy to clean. And yet …
Some researchers say these fabrics contain chemicals that release gases. You should be concerned. Many fabrics are manufactured with polyurethane particles or PVC. There’s evidence they slowly release gases that enter the lungs or skin.
So your new sofa might be making you sick. The most dangerous moment is when it arrives at your home. The tight plastic wrap that protects it from damage is like a greenhouse, holding in all the gases pouring out of the foam cushions and engineered fabrics. Once opened, the gases escape into your home.
Interestingly, buying furniture on the resale market may be better for your health. Hazardous gas emissions drops significantly after a few months. An FCG sofa or table won’t have that new furniture smell, but it also won’t have the dangers that accompany it.
If you simply can’t resist buying new furniture for your home, here’s my advice. Let it rest and air out in your garage for at least few days before bringing it into your home. Or, better yet, find a gently used piece of furniture at Furniture Consignment Gallery. Your body will thank you.