Is Your Furniture Making You Sick?

by Dennis Machicao

Furnishing an apartment or a home can be quite an exciting venture. We all strive for our homes to reflect a little bit of our own personality whether it is modern, traditional or contemporary styles of furnishings.

To make a healthy home, you have to be careful in the furniture you choose and make sure that they are not manufactured with materials that could be toxic to you and your loved ones.  You should look for furniture that is as green as possible and free of toxic materials.

According to, one should avoid furniture that is marketed as stain-resistant as the chemical to make it so can be toxic. Avoid inflatable furniture and artificial leather that contain PVC and PVC coated fabrics and vinyl furniture covers.

Some furniture contains flame-retardant chemicals (PBDE)–which are often applied to upholstery and foam–that are quite toxic. The best materials for furniture are solid wood, metal and glass. Items made with wood products such as particleboard, fiberboard and plywood should be avoided since they might be held together with urea-formaldehyde glues. To find less toxic sealants, finishes and other building materials. recommends you consult the site or read The Healthy House by John Bower published by the Healthy House Institute.

An example how toxic some furniture can be found on, a central Florida TV station, reports in their Action 9 investigative segment how a leather sofa and other furniture manufactured in China has been known to make people sick.  It seems that the leather furniture contained an anti mold chemical that when broken down released a dangerous toxic gas causing people to experience bad headaches, eye infections, respiratory conditions and skin allergies. The Action 9 segment found that the European Union had banned some furniture made in China for this very reason.

It is difficult to know when you are buying a piece of furniture if it contains any toxic chemicals. The more obvious toxic materials are PVC, wood fiber or pressed wood and fabrics with stain and fire retardant chemicals. There are various sites that can guide you where to obtain green furniture. A few are,, and

Decorating a home can be quite exciting as long as it a healthy experience for you and the environment.

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