Saturday, June 26, 2010

Enviro blog has collated a list of furniture considerations as inspired by the new Q Collection from New York that considers the health of your home and the planet.
Avoid :

  • No formaldehyde
    Formaldehyde is used in most furniture adhesives, but the Q Collection uses only water-based adhesives.
  • No polyurethane, no dacron
    Polyurethane, a known carcinogen, is used as a topcoat and in the manufacturing of foam and dacron (part of foam padding) contains toluene. This company uses only water-based stains, topcoats and natural latex foam rubber.
  • No brominated flame retardants
    Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are banned in Europe but are still being used extensively in US upholstery manufacturing.
  • No heavy metals
    Leather tanning is the most harmful of all fabric production processes because it relies on harmful heavy metals like chromium 6.
  • No toxic stain resistant chemicals
    Fabrics often contain dioxin (typically as a byproduct of the dyeing and finishing processes), a powerful carcinogen that is also known to damage the human immune system. Dioxins are also on the "dirty dozen" list of persistent environmental pollutants (POPs).
  • Sustainably harvested wood, 100% certified
    The source of most wood used to make furniture today is unknown. Unfortunately, it can come from some of the world's most threatened ecosystems, such as old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest or the Amazon rain forest. The U.S. is by far the largest importer of virgin timber from the Amazon.
  • Organic or European ecological cotton
    Cotton is the world's most polluting crop because of enormous levels of pesticides and herbicides used in growing it.
  • Non-toxic, low-impact fabric dyes
    Fabric dyes often contain toxic chemicals that are suspected to cause cancer, reproductive or developmental damage.