Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DIY: Tips for Reducing Exposure to Formaldehyde and PBDE’s

Here are some tips for reducing exposure to formaldehyde and PBDE’s:

  • Avoid wall-to-wall carpet
  • Choose solid wood furniture, limit the use of pressed wood products that are made with adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde resins (UF)
  • Ensure foam is intact. Repair or dispose of torn foam items (cushions, pillows, stuffed animals).
  • Look for new items stuffed with polyester, down, wool, or cotton; these are unlikely to contain toxic fire retardants
  • Vacuum often – use a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter vacuum
  • Remove shoes prior to going indoors
  • Clean area rugs with biodegradable cleaners
  • Choose floor coverings and rest mats that are made with natural fibers (cotton, hemp, and wool) that are naturally fire-resistant and contain fewer chemicals.

If you are in the market for a less toxic alternative to your carpet, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends buying carpets that have:

  • Low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Free of toxic dyes
  • Recyclable
  • Contains recycled-content
  • Reduced energy use (from manufacturing)
  • Reduced or improved air emissions (from manufacturing)
Fibers that are safe and eco-friendly include (use for rugs or for broadloom):
  • Wool that has not been treated with unsafe chemicals (naturally flame retardant and repels liquids)
  • Hemp (mold and mildew resistant)

Bamboo flooring is sustainable as bamboo is a grass that grows very quickly, this is known as a rapidly renewable resource.

Cork flooring is also a great alternative, it is incredibly sustainable because it is made from the outer bark of the cork oak tree meaning the tree does not have to be cut down in order to be harvested. Cork can be harvested from a tree every 9 years!

Where to buy:
Shaw Floors
EcoTimber
Home Depot LEED Initiative

1 comment:

  1. A survey of carpet manufacturers that are members of the Carpet and Rug Institute, which represents approximately 95 percent of all carpet produced in the United States, confirms that PBDE (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers)-based fire retardants are not used in residential or commercial carpet manufacturing.
    The Carpet and Rug Institute has conducted surveys of the carpet industry to determine if formaldehyde is used in the carpet manufacturing process. The survey results confirmed that no raw materials with formaldehyde additives were being used.
    As an additional confirmation of the absence of formaldehyde in carpet, the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Indoor Air Quality Testing Program (Green Label/Green Label Plus) specifically monitors this chemical. Carpet may absorb formaldehyde from the air; therefore, tests of carpet from the marketplace may indicate a presence of formaldehyde.
    The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) and the carpet industry as a whole place the health and well-being of consumers and the environment above all else.

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