Choosing your nursery can be a daunting task. You want the very best for your new little one, and you know you’ll likely have to live with the decor for a while. We were slightly obsessed with every little element, piece of furniture, and item that went into our little one’s room. I was so worried about chemicals and toxic objects when she was a newborn. We did some heavy research into furniture and found out about Greenguard certification. This certification confirms that products pass specific emissions and VOC testing and won’t be off-gassing harmful chemicals into your nursery. Greenguard certified furniture provides extra credence to manufacturer claims of emissions from an independent third party.
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Why should I care?
There are a few reasons we should be especially careful about the things we bring into a home with children. Paraphrased from greenguard.org, children are at higher risk of negative impact due to chemical exposure.
- They breathe through their mouths more frequently than adults and particles aren’t filtered through the nose
- They breathe in a greater volume of air relative to body size, and all their systems are still developing
- Kids are smaller, and therefore closer to the ground. This makes them more susceptible to heavier airborne chemicals that fall to the ground
Specific chemicals tested for are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are absorbed into the body through the air. Some common VOCs are Formaldehyde, Decane, Butoxyethanol, Isopentane, Limonene, Styrene, Xylenes, Perchloroethylene, Methylene, Chloride, Toluene, Vinyl chloride. Long-term exposure to VOCs can result in health problems like headaches or dizziness, and some even have much more serious consequences like cancer.
If you want more information about other awesome baby products, check out my Baby Registry 101. It’s filled with other non-toxic items fantastic for baby’s first year.
What exactly is greenguard certified?
Greenguard certification is clearly defined on greenguard.org. They state, “simply put, GREENGUARD Certification ensures that a product has met some of the world’s most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air.”
What this means in practice is that you can rest assured knowing that a greenguard certified piece of furniture has been rigorously tested by an unbiased third party. You don’t simply have to take the manufacturers word that the item is “non-toxic.”
What brands have this certification?
There are multiple brands that offer this certification, so you can rest assured you have a safe choice at various price points. Here are a few retailers that offer pieces or lines of greenguard certified furniture:
Davinci: Davinci (Autumn 4-in-one)
Babyletto: Babyletto Hudson 3-in-one convertible crib
Higher budget – but awesome splurges
Pottery Barn Kids: They give you 15% off your first order by signing up for their email list. If you buy furniture from here it’s definitely worth grabbing this coupon or waiting for a sale. They offer pretty good discounts sporadically throughout the year.
Romina: Definitely the biggest splurge on the list, but all their products are greenguard certified and made from sustainable materials. Everything is solid wood (no MDF) and is an investment in your furniture for the long term. The designs are fantastic but don’t bother looking if you’re on a budget. The self-closing drawers are a bonus!
Silva: A similar brand to Romina, but slightly more affordable. Made of solid wood in Europe with the same standards of greenguard certification and fantastic style.
I hope you learned a little bit about what types of chemicals can enter your nursery through furniture, as well as what to look for to prevent this from happening. Mainly – a greenguard certified furniture label! There are multiple brands at differing price points that offer this certification, meaning you can get peace of mind with almost any budget.
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