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Toxic Furniture Dangers

Toxins could be lurking inside your favourite sofa, beds and even in your bookcases and cabinets. 

We are all exposed to a cocktail of chemicals from birth. Not just from the outside environment but also from INSIDE our homes. There are genuine concerns about chemical soups seeping from home furnishings. In particular, those toxins from flame-retardant materials. 

Take a look at the list below to see the top ten worst ones...

Top 10 Toxic Chemicals in Furniture

  1. Formaldehyde: A colourless chemical with a strong odour commonly found in glues and adhesives, pressed-wood products and plywood, fabrics, and other product coatings. The NCI (National Cancer Institute) said, "Short-term exposure includes watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, nausea and skin irritations." The NCI admitted that long-term exposure might cause cancer, as formaldehyde is classed as a human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  2. Acetaldehyde: A chemical used in the production of perfumes, polyester resins, dyes, rubber production and in tanning agent production and classed as a probable human carcinogen based on human cancer studies and animal studies showing nasal tumours in rats and laryngeal tumours in hamsters. The short-term side effects listed by the EPA include irritation of the skin, eyes, eyes, skin, and respiratory tract. 

  3. Benzene: Commonly associated with vehicle exhaust and coal emissions. Also found in detergents and dyes and a solvent for waxes, resins, and plastics, used in furniture manufacture. Side effects of benzene include drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, irritation of eyes, skin, and respiratory tracts, blood disorders including reduced red blood cells and aplastic anaemia, adverse reproductive effects on developing fetuses, and increased leukaemia incidence. The EPA classified benzene as a known human carcinogen for all types of exposure. 

  4. Vinyl Acetate: A chemical used in the production of polyvinyl, adhesives, paints, lacquers and films. Most of the side effects involve the respiratory system and cause coughing and inflammation. The EPA hasn't officially classified it as a carcinogen, however, it states that studies found, "an increased incidence of nasal cavity tumours… observed in rats exposed by inhalation." 

  5. Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD): A category of toxic flame retardants, used to minimize the chance of fire spreading should your sofa or mattress catch fire. The EPA states that it accumulates in the environment, in breast milk, and "biomagnifies" in the food chain. It can also be transported long distances and remains persistent in its environment. It is known to have adverse reproductive, developmental, and neurological effects.

  6. Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA): A chemical historically used in carpets, leathers, and upholstering to make them waterproof and stain-resistant. Since 2015, the EPA has attempted to regulate PFOA due to its accumulation in the environment; however, sadly, it is still used worldwide. The half-life for PFOA in the human body is 3.8 years (meaning it takes double this time for it to leave your body) where it causes: liver toxicity (hypertrophy, necrosis, and effects on the metabolism and deposition of dietary lipids), kidney toxicity, and developmental outcomes (survival, body weight changes, reduced ossification, altered puberty, and retarded mammary gland development), and cancer.

  7. Trichloroethylene: A VOC used as a solvent in dry cleaning and metal degreasing. Despite its classification as a known human carcinogen, it still doesn't stop the United States from using around 250 million pounds per year in manufacturing. Other side effects include adverse results on developing fetuses, light-headedness, drowsiness, headaches, and dangerous, problematic symptoms in the liver, kidneys, immune system and central nervous system.

  8. Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers: Additional flame retardants classified in a cluster since they contain more than a few chemical combinations. They leach out of foams, plastics, and fabrics and pollute the air, while also accumulating in the environment. The primary safety concern with these involves adverse neurobehavioral effects (an exciting thing to consider if you've been experiencing behaviour problems with anyone, including children).

  9. Perchloroethylene: Commonly used for dry cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing. Side effects include kidney dysfunction, neurological effects and behavioural changes, impairment of coordination, dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, and unconsciousness. Long-term exposure is associated with several types of cancer, including bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

  10. Phthalates: A class of chemicals used in nearly every consumer product, from plastics to tablecloths. As for furniture, they are on floor tiles, furniture upholstery, carpet backings, and packaging. They are considered major endocrine disruptors that interfere with natural hormone regulation and production. They can affect development in children, resulting in changes in male hormone production, altered sexual differentiation, and changes to reproductive organs. Besides, prenatal exposure to some phthalates has resulted in deformities of the genitals and anus. 

For more details on Flame Retardants and Phthalates click here...

Say No to Chemical Furniture

What Are the Alternatives?

It's all very well us pointing out what toxic chemicals are evil and scaring the living-b-Jesus out of you, but what are the poisonous furniture alternatives?

Here's a list of a few things you can do to avoid the dangerous chemicals and make replacements where necessary:

  • Buy real, solid wood stuff rather than furniture made of particleboard or plywood. (There are formaldehyde-free glues for plywood and veneers - make sure you do your due diligence here!)
  • Buy metal instead of plastic for furniture items.
  • Buy glass instead of clear plastic for table-tops and shelving and other decor items like mirrors and vases.
  • Look for furniture that doesn't contain a coating of dangerous flame-retardant chemicals. Click here to learn more about flame-retardants...
  • Invest in more expensive, solid wood-frame furniture. Invest a little money in having someone make new cushions with safe fabrics such as linens and cotton. You cannot put a price on good health.
  • Replace old cabinets, sofas and old mattresses wherever possible and replace them with ethically made, eco-friendly sustainable products that don't harm the environment. See how much better you sleep at night when you do!
  • Houseplants help with filtering air in a home, so it's worth investing in some broad-leaved greenery. Not only will you start to breathe better but plants brighten the place up too.

TopEco Home Non-Toxic Furniture

You love your modern, stylish furnishings. You love that they are contemporary and smart. But, did you know some materials in present-day furniture are hazardous to your family's health and the well-being of those who enter your household? 

Specifically, those items of furniture that contain made of plastic/polymers and veneer are poisoning us with dangerous chemicals. Toxic chemical concoctions and chemicals such as formaldehyde are released into the air when exposed to heat and sunlight. They also leach out from the furniture itself into our drinking water. Toxins drain from our bodies too. Some studies found increased infant mortality rates for mothers exposed to chemical poisoning. 

Easy Vegan is proud to showcase TopEco Home; a fantastic company we will be working with to promote no chemical furniture. By doing this, we help put money back into local environments where it is needed the most. TopEco has created stunning alternative ranges of furniture for the living room, bedroom, lounge, office and outdoor living spaces.

They have a stunning range of beautiful toxic-free furniture for the planet-conscious homeowner, luxury interior designer and eco-friendly hospitality outfitter. 

Eco-Friendly, Luxury Living

For cozy and peace-inspiring home additions, check out TopEco Home's  selection of eco-friendly furniture made with organic cotton, linen, sustainable wood and handmade glass. 

TopEco Home - Sustainable Luxury Furniture

Below is a guide to non-toxic furniture and sofas. Healthy, organic and natural alternatives for those wanting to avoid toxic chemicals in the home. Safe choices for the chemically sensitive too.

Why Choose TopEco Home?

Our planet is in trouble. TopEco Home want to do their bit to protect it.

This is why they created TopEco Home, beautifully designed objects that everyone can enjoy, while reducing their impact on the environment.

Not only are they working with some of the finest designer furniture makers in the world, but each product undergoes stringent environmental standards to ensure they’re 100% free from toxins and chemical finishes.

When you buy a TopEco Home product you know it has come from responsible, ethical manufacturers who use their profits to actively work towards saving our planet.

TopEco Home meets your desire for gorgeous design while creating a safer, kinder world. They handcraft and import luxury furniture collections harvested from environmentally-sustainable sources and zero-waste manufacturing sites. Their collections are designed by teams of expert craftspeople in Europe and hand finished with wood oils extracted from sustainable sources or plant-based waxes.

Toxic-free home furnishings, non-toxic furniture and beds should be the norm. So here's to your discovery of safe online shopping options to get rid of toxic chemicals in the home for good.

We hope this blog post helps you, as a consumer to evaluate and choose the best non-toxic alternatives for no chemical furniture.

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The Easy Vegan App scans and examines your current shopping list and substitutes each product with a delicious vegan alternative - ethical, sustainable and utterly cruelty-free shopping. 

The Easy Vegan Platform and App is a complete personalised plant-based guru-in-the-pocket for transitioning meat-eaters and vegetarians.The Easy Vegan Platform and App is a complete personalised plant-based guru-in-the-pocket for transitioning meat-eaters and vegetarians.

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