02 June, 2010

Why Not? Have a Healthy Interior

By Lisa Peck, ASID
Indoor air quality...what does this mean? The air we breath in our homes can be harmful to our health. It can contain volatile organic compounds or vocs, it can have mold or mildew spores, it could have contaminants from appliances or personal care products.
Many of us now banish the smokers we know to hang on stoops or porches (even in 40 below weather) because we understand that second-hand smoke is bad for us.Volatile organic compounds can have equally serious long-term effects. Many of the finishes and furnishings used in homes contain chemicals such as formaldehyde, benzene and other chemicals that have harmful effects on our health.
The best way to improve the quality of the air with breath is to eliminate the sources of pollution or limit there emissions according to the EPA. (More info on indoor air quality)
The idea of having to verify the contents of every paint, tile, counter material, floor finish, cabinet, table, chair, rug in your home can be utterly overwhelming.
As interior designers, the team at LiLu Interiors can help our clients improve the quality of the air in their homes by helping them specify finishes and select furnishings that do not increase the level of pollution in their home.
Here is a small sample of products that are currently available on the market and are good choices for improving the indoor air quality in your home.
wheat board
Formaldehyde-free wheat board for substrate on cabinetry and counters.
Formaldehyde-free Plyboo material to build cabinetry and furnishings. (More info)
Sunflower board for furnishings and cabinetry..also formaldehyde-free.
Natura no-voc paint from Benjamin Moore.
Eco wall covering with no vocs from Graham and Brown (see more)
These are a few of the formaldehyde-free and no voc products that are on the market...note that you do not need to sacrifice beauty to have your health!

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