VOCs in baby furniture

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

VOCs are a major class of both indoor air pollution and outdoor smog. Indoors, they can be found in:

  • paints,
  • carpets,
  • furniture,
  • glues,
  • stains,
  • finished,
  • copy paper,
  • printers,
  • cleaning products,
  • air fresheners,
  • paraffin candles, and
  • craft supplies.

VOCs can cause immediate reactions like eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, and nausea. They have also been linked to more serious health effects such as neurological disorders, liver and kidney damage, and even certain kinds of cancer. Babies and children, because of their developing immune systems, are especially susceptible to VOCs.

Did you ever notice how a piece of new furniture stinks when you first bring it home? That stink is the gases seeping out of the furniture’s glues, paints, and finishes, and it is loaded with chemicals that you really don’t want to breathe, like VOCs and formaldehyde. Babies, with their fragile and developing immune systems, are especially susceptible to the potential health risks associated with VOCs. Keep these toxins out of the air and out of your home by selecting furniture that uses water-based adhesives and natural treatments.

– from “The Everything Green Baby Book”

LEKSVIK crib from IKEA, $159.99

Originally, we were planning to use a convertible crib from Target, but since we want this crib to last several years as is converts to a toddler bed and so on, I’m leaning more toward one of the numbers from Ikea. The green baby book recommends them because their furniture is nontoxic. And guess what! Cheap! Their convertible crib sells for $160 and converts to a toddler bed. This means we’d still need to get a bed for the older kid but this’ll last a few years, is affordable, and isn’t going to make baby sick.

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