Sunday, December 28, 2008

Safe furniture

It's been a while since the last post, and a lot has changed: I left my job to stay home with Henry full-time, and we have been having a great time together! (But I admit, I am always really glad when Brad gets home from work and I have another grown-up to talk to.) Henry is 5 months old, a real little person, and he cracks me up.

I love his sweet smile and laugh, and he happens to laugh a lot while on our beloved changing table.

So, today, I am scouting out more adorable organic baby clothing (Speesees brand, if you're wondering) online, and I come across news that says there are high levels of formaldehyde in products by the manufacturer of our changing table/dresser combo.

This is our dresser, only ours is in black. It's the Jardine Olympia combo unit.

That article lists the biggest offenders of formaldehyde emissions, and our changing table/dresser combo isn't on there. But does that mean it's safe?

With our carpets, and builder's paint on the walls, and curtains bought with "eco-friendly, energy-saving" thermal backing (that I now realize is made of PVC), and various cheap furniture throughout our house, I know there's more off-gassing happening than I'd like to think about. Hopefully we can change that one piece of furniture at a time.

But I was hoping for the baby's room to have as fresh a start as possible, to have at least one room in the whole house that was "safe." It ticks me off that it's not as safe as I thought--and that these manufacturers have been selling their products knowing what they contain and not warning consumers. And it ticks me off that we've got a solid wood piece of furniture that cost upward of $400 and it might still be unsafe!

Of course, I'd rather not re-buy a different piece of furniture. Then again, I'd also rather not wonder constantly just how "low" the levels of toxic chemicals are. I hate that parents even have to wonder about the safety of products--but I'm really glad that there are people out there watching out for this, and making the companies change.

I hope that if Henry decides to have kids, he won't have to worry about the chemicals in baby food, bottles, clothing, furniture, or homes. I'm sure parents will always worry. But hopefully it won't be about something that should get fixed now, at the turn of the century. I'm very proud to live in a state that's a leading force in making that happen.