Cleaning out our February magazines, we came across an article we'd flagged in O, The Oprah Magazine
. We couldn't find it on the website to slink it, so we thought we'd share what we learned here... Potential Furniture Issues According to O, The Oprah Magazine, February 2008
What: Antique Clocks, mirrors, barometers, thermometers and mercury glass lamps.
Potential Problem: Those cute, elusive little balls of silver, inhaled or touched, can cause headaches...and worse. Remember the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland? Mercury caused his madness.
What to do: If it spills, skip the vacuum and broom. Use an eyedropper to suck up the little beads. Double-bag everything that the mercury's touched. Call the health department to find out how to dispose of it. For larger spills, find a hazardous materials contractor.
Shower Curtain Liners, Plastic Tablecloths and other soft, flexible plastics
Potential Problem: Disrupts reproductive development in boys and men.
What to do: Avoid it, especially if it has the plasticky smell; that's the warning sign. If you do buy something that has that smell, take it outside. Sunlight breaks down the phthalates.
Pressed-wood furniture and permanent-press fabrics
Potential Problem: Associated with nasal and brain cancers and possibly leukemia. Immediate reactions include eye irritation, skin allergies, asthma, nausea and coughing.
What to do: Choose pressed wood made with PF or MDI resin instead. A veneer or water-resistant coating will reduce emissions. Look for a stamp from the Composite Panel Association (CPA) or the Hardwood Plywood and Veneer Association (HPVA). Wash permanent press tems before using them.
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