This one may come as a shock to many of you – it certainly was for me!
Most upholstered furniture contains many harmful chemicals that can cause reproductive and developmental disorders as well as certain types of cancer.
This is because most upholstered furniture is treated with flame retardants (Perfluorinated Compounds – PFCs, Brominated Flame Retardants – BFRs, Halogenated Flame Retardants – HFRs) due to an influx of house fires started by cigarettes in the 70’s and 80’s.
These flame retardants are found in stain-resistant fabrics, foam cushions, mattresses, carpeting and paints. Flame retardants can cause the following:
Reproductive and hormonal disorders
Another fun component in most furniture is formaldehyde. It is found in foam and particle board. Formaldehyde can cause the following:
Problems with Memory Function
You may also be exposed to Glycol Ethers, Polycholrinated Biphenyls PCB’s and Acetone which are found in the glues and adhesives used in furniture. These can cause the following:
Lung & Liver Damage
Red Blood Cell damage
To avoid all of these nasty, toxic chemicals look for vintage furniture that you can have reupholstered or check out the furniture lines at upholstery companies where you can choose non-toxic options.
A number of upholstery companies offer soy and corn based foams, water-based adhesives and you can request frames and legs are used with only real wood and not particle board.
There are also a number of companies that use organic fabrics but you can always email your preferred fabric company to ensure that the fabric you want to use has not been treated with flame retardants.
Check out the following upholstery and fabric companies for toxin free options: