Formaldehyde and Furniture: How to Deal With the Offgassing
LESLIE: Delise (sp) is calling in from Hot Springs, Arkansas. What can we do for you today?
DELISE (sp): Hi, Tom and Leslie. I’m calling about – we just bought a large amount of ChrisWood furniture and I was reading about the offgassing of formaldehyde from that and I was wondering if you had any suggestions as to how we can minimize the health risks to that.
TOM: Well, generally, I think you want to vent it. Right, Leslie?
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And first of all, welcome from New Zealand. I don’t know how long you’ve been in the states but welcome aboard.
With new furnishings, you’re right; a lot of the finishes do have formaldehyde. It will offgas and it will offgas for a bit of time. You’re also going to find formaldehyde in new cushions for certain types of upholstered furnishings. You’re also going to find it in carpeting. So you have to be really careful about when you bring this into your home. Generally, with a new piece of furniture, if you’ve got a garage or some area that is covered from the elements that can give it some time to circulate and offgas, I would leave it there for a week. Let it …
DELISE (sp): A week?
LESLIE: Yeah, I would let it completely offgas before bringing it into my home.
Now, if I was putting in wall-to-wall carpeting – and we did this when I was pregnant with my son, we put it in the baby’s room, and we spoke to the showroom that was installing the carpet for us and I asked them specifically to unroll that piece of carpet that was going to be installed in my house in some sort of warehouse area for three days to a week, whatever they would accommodate, to allow it to offgas outside of our home. Because new carpets have that smell and that’s exactly what it is.
Now, they could have been blowing smoke up my you-know-what but they told me they did it and I noticed that there was not an odor. So you really do have to be careful because it is in a lot of things.
DELISE (sp): OK, well that sounds great. We can do that.
TOM: Good luck with that project, Delise (sp). Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.