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
- 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.
Where to buy:
Home Depot LEED Initiative