The More You Know


The More You Know

09/06/2016 9:00 pm NZST | Updated 1 day ago

Chances are you have read or heard about the adverse effects of radiation emitting microwaves, food contaminated by pesticides, toxic parabens populating our moisturisers, toothpaste, shampoos – the list is infinite.

Upon such enlightenment, many health conscious individuals and families have taken the initiative to divorce such household items from their lives. But even so, there still remains a hoard of seemingly innocuous household items that pose a toxic threat to our body.

Though there is a laundry list of toxic substances that can be traversed, today’s post is solely concerned with the presence of formaldehyde in furniture. For the less science savvy individuals here is what formaldehyde is and why you can NOT be indifferent to it.

Formaldehyde is a colourless gas that is in a category of chemicals called volatile organic compounds, meaning it easily disperses as a gas when exposed to room temperature air. It is a constituent of many manufactured products but its prime use is as an adhesive in the assembly of furniture pieces such as an infant’s nursery. Engineered woods all rely on glue to hold them together and thus the finished furniture will no doubt be laden with formaldehyde.

But the more important question is…So what? What’s wrong with the presence of formaldehyde in our furniture? Is it really that hazardous to warrant such vilification?

The answer is Yes. Yes it really is that bad.

Statutory bodies such as the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) have long known of the detrimental effects of formaldehyde and have duly made efforts to disseminate these findings. It was not until the wake of Hurricane Katrina where the severity of formaldehyde was highlighted on a global scale. Casualties of Hurricane Katrina were issued mobile trailers as a temporary abode which had a scent evocative of the interior of a new car. Little did they know this luxurious “newly furnished” smell was due to the presence of formaldehyde and was actually making them ill.  Some immediate symptoms the inhabitants exhibited were eyes and nose irritations, asthma attacks as well as dermatological issues. According to the EPA, constant ingestion of formaldehyde in high doses can stretch beyond mild irritations to serious cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma.

“this luxurious newly furnished smell was due to the presence of formaldehyde and was actually making them ill”

Now, if that doesn’t scare you, I’m not quite sure what will. Let’s also keep in mind that this is not the only occurrence that has shed light into the severity of formaldehyde. There are plenty more.

Amidst all this scary stuff, there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Although there are no current laws holding manufacturers accountable for the use of formaldehyde, the more informed consumers become, the more quickly these regulations are going to eventuate (Just like it happened in the tobacco industry).  Even without an official mandate, an army of demanding consumers should be sufficient to pressure manufacturers to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in their manufacturing process.

DecoIsland is one of the companies that have chosen to do just that. They are a little bit different to your traditional furniture outlets in that their furniture can be assembled/disassembled to serve different functions.

Here is an example: A funky wall clock serves a dual function. There are many ways to repurpose your furniture and the only thing stopping you is your imagination. Again, all their products are formaldehyde free.

“The key feature of CUBICS is the ability to create and build furniture beyond the standard box. Think outside the box to create uncommon and unusual furniture that is interesting as well as useful. The simplicity appeals to everyone and all you need to add is an idea to create something extraordinary.”

You can snoop and shop by clicking on the following website:











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