The Four Top Reasons to Avoid Foam Cushion Furniture

Polystyrene foamFoam cushion furniture is everywhere. Across the price spectrum, you will find foam cushion furniture and for many reasons. Foam cushion furniture can be durable. At least for a few years, it can be comfortable as well. However, there are good reasons that you should avoid this kind of furniture whenever possible. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the top reasons that you’ll want to avoid foam cushion furniture.


Reason Number One to Avoid Foam Cushion Furniture-That Odd and Dangerous Smell


匂いFoam cushions are usually made from chemicals and there is no way of telling for sure what chemicals can be found in furniture and bed mattresses. Since furniture such as couches, seats and mattresses are large, they can contain large amounts of chemicals. If you are chemically sensitive or want to reduce the amount of chemicals in your home, then you’ll definitely want to opt for items that are as chemical free as possible. If you’ve noticed that “odd smell” in new furniture, you are not alone. Usually that smell is from chemicals.


One of the single most common types of furniture foam is polyurethane foam. It is very important to note that polyurethane foam is a petroleum-based material. Petroleum based materials emit VOCs or volatile organic compounds. VOCs negatively impact overall air quality and can lead to respiratory problems.


Studies have shown that exposure to air pollution can lead to disease and lower the IQ of children. Any step you can take to improve your indoor air quality is a step in the right direction, and that makes avoiding foam cushions a must. Quite often foam cushions and mattresses have glues that contain such dangerous chemicals as formaldehyde.


Reason Number Two to Avoid Foam Cushion Furniture-Very Dangerous Flame Retardants

House on fire

Sadly, foam furniture and foam cushions have flame-retardants in them. Scientific tests have shown that flame-retardants don’t serve any purpose and are, in fact, quite dangerous. Flame retardants put into foam cushions takes a bad product and makes it far, far worst. Studies have shown that flame-retardants damage DNA and increase the risk of cancer. These compounds can also make their way into household dust and eventually into our bodies. By not purchasing foam cushions, you are avoiding one of the key sources of flame retardant exposure.


Reason Number Three to Avoid Foam Cushion Furniture-Go Natural and Lower Your Carbon Footprint


Foam cushions are made from petrochemicals and toxic compounds. These are not renewable resources, and it takes a considerable amount of energy to manufacture these goods. In short, foam cushions are not just bad for people, but are also bad for the planet. If you want to help the planet and lower your carbon footprint, then avoid buying foam cushions.


The production of foam also harms our water supply. It takes a lot of water to produce foam and a good deal of water pollution results from the manufacturing of foam products. Vote with your dollars, and simply buy a different kind of furniture.


Reason Number Four to Avoid Foam Cushion Furniture-You Get What You Pay For


Foam furniture will last, for a while. Unlike other furniture options, foam furniture will not stand the test of time. Foam is not like wood furniture for example, as foam is constantly in a state of degrading. The foam furniture you have today will not be of similar quality years from now. If you truly want the best deal possible you need to opt for wood furniture or other more solid and durable furniture options.


It is true that chemicals are in fact everywhere. There are tens of thousands of chemicals, most of which are untested, begin used in the world today. By not buying foam furniture and foam products, you are helping reduce the number of chemicals both in the world and in your home. It may be more difficult to find foam free furniture, but it is indeed possible if you do a little shopping around.


The bottom line is that foam products have been linked to health problems. The simple fact is that keeping dangerous chemicals out of your home is worth the effort. So let’s take a look a few furniture alternatives that are better than foam.


The Benefits of Wood and Wool

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Wood is a great option. Reclaimed wood furniture is amazing furniture. No doubt it is more expensive, but it is also very eco-friendly because no new trees were used in its creation. That alone results in a considerable energy savings. Reclaimed wood furniture is usually old growth wood, which means that it is far more durable, then new growth wood. When selecting reclaimed wood furniture, it is important to pay close attention to how the wood was treated after it was reclaimed. For example, were chemicals used on the wood to treat it?


Instead of foam cushions, opt for cushions and furniture made with natural materials such as wool. Sometimes wool is treated with chemicals as well so it is important to ask the right questions. That stated, wool is usually a superior alternative to foam cushions in that wool is environmentally friendly and, of course, completely renewable.


You do have choices. The idea that the only choice is to opt for petrochemical based foam is a false one. It may take a little research and effort, but you will ultimately be rewarded with a product that is a healthy and long lasting one. If you are looking for a great furniture investment, skip the foam and go for natural, people friendly and planet friendly options.

Posted by February 27, 2015 at 5:31 PM under Environment Home Living Tips

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