Furniture in Homes: How It Can Affect Your Health

As a scientist I, I am always amazed about the number of chemicals people create and introduce into our everyday lives.

As I look at my home environment, a place of sanctuary for my family, I am constantly reminded of the many sources that can lead to chemical exposures, which the average person does not realize.

Take furniture for example, most furniture is made with pressed wood, plywood, particle board and glues containing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a low cost common chemical and exposure to it can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, coughing, headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound (VOC). VOC’s are chemicals that become gas at room temperature. As a result, some products made with formaldehyde will off-gas into the air and may lead to health problems.

Exposure to formaldehyde is common as we all have furniture in our homes and although the concentrations maybe low it can still have an effect on our health both in the short term and long term. Repeated exposure of low quantities can cause problems especially in developing children.

Many times homeowners may not even know they are exposed as they cannot see the gas and often they cannot smell it. It requires the use of scientific instrumentation to measure the concentrations present.

I continually monitor chemicals in my home and I hope you will too, for your health and the health of your families.

I have attached a link that identifies a company offering green furniture and is certified by the Greenguard Environmental Institute.

By Simon Hahessy | Posted in Indoor Pollutants