Avoid Toxic Chemicals Hiding In Your Nursery Furniture
One of the most important parts of preparing for your new baby is creating a nursery/space to welcome your little one home. This is the time when you choose your bassinet, crib, changing table, dresser and nightstands, rocking chair and adorable stuffed animals for your baby’s space. Your baby will spend a considerable amount of time in their crib sleeping or in their nursery bonding with family.
Special consideration should be given to the furniture items you choose for your nursery, style, function and of course safety. Nursery furniture are typically made with a host of harmful chemicals with toxic finishes that presents harm to your new born child. There are toxic chemical compounds that are used in the manufacturing of baby furniture and products that should be avoided because of their proven harm to babies.
A list of toxins to avoid in your nursery furniture:
Formaldehyde : Formaldehyde is a strong-smelling, colorless gas commonly used in many household products and building materials. It is used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood and adhesive. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, materials containing formaldehyde can release it as a gas or vapor into the air. The gas has been identified as carcinogenic, prolonged exposure can cause cancer, and inhalation can cause symptoms like wheezing, nausea and general body irritation. Despite checks of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission by the government, some companies still prefer to notoriously use the gas in all forms of furniture, including baby furniture like cots, bassinets, nursing chairs and bookcases. Before buying your baby furniture, especially baby cribs, make sure you know the formaldehyde content present in the woodwork before purchasing or ordering. There are variations of that name used; look for names like formalin, formic aldehyde, methylene oxide. It is advisable for nursing or expectant mothers to get baby furniture made with FSC-certified hardwoods and organic upholstery matters and real lumber.
Flame retardants are a unique category of toxins. According to the US National Center for Health Research, flame retardants are quite toxic chemicals and in addition to being used in electronics, are also used in foam inside baby products such as infant crib mattresses, baby carriers, high chairs, strollers, and nursing pillows. It was originally made to help soft materials become non-flammable but has now proved to be especially unsafe. Its toxic effect has been linked to hormone disruption and infertility, especially among women, cancer, genetic damage, damage to embryos and a list of other dangerous conditions. Research has also shown that it can also cause asthma, lung infections and learning problems in children starting from a very early age. Mothers and parents are advised to only go for baby flame retardant free furniture stuffed with organic materials like cotton, hemp, organic wool etc.
Lead paint: This toxin can be found on cribs, rocking horses, and many children play furniture and toys. Lead paint has been linked to many developmental issues in children, including difficulties with reading, hyperactivity (ADD/ADHD), hearing loss, and delayed growth. Though the harsh laws against lead poisoning have reduced the use of lead paints on modern furniture, please consider this if you have inherited an antique. Even with the reduction of the use of lead paint, always ensure you know the paints used on furniture before you purchase and when in doubt use a lead paint testing kit to measure toxic levels.
Phthalates: This is another toxic agent used to make plastics soft so as to easily mould them into required shapes. It can be found in portable bassinets, baby loungers, plastic baby cabinets, stands, toys or vinyl covered products. The chemical has been linked to fetal and baby birth defects and abnormal organ growth. You can avoid phthalates completely eliminating plastic but if you choose to purchase plastic or recycled plastic products, opt for the polypropylene/polyethylene with the numbers 1, 2, 4, or 5, which are safer to use and avoid plastic made with numbers 3, 6, 7.
It is important to choose baby furniture that is made from natural wood that is unfinished or treated with non toxic dyes or low/no-voc paints.
We vet and curate a list of baby furniture that meets those standards so you can create a beautiful and safe space for your baby.