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Your furniture affects your health

You may not realise it, but we could potentially introduce harmful substances when we furnish our homes. From chemical-laced materials to items that easily trap dust, the choices we make affect our health and that of our loved ones. 

Bedroom by JQ Ong/ The Association

Whether it's furniture or appliances, here's how to shop for your home with your health in mind:

CHOOSE SOLID WOOD OVER VENEERS AND PARTICLE BOARD

Buy furniture made of solid wood, as veneers and particle (or chip) board often contain formaldehyde, benzene or xylene, which can cause respiratory problems when released into indoor air.

CONSIDER GLASS

Opt for bookcases with glass enclosures or doors. These will confine book odours and also make the room easier to clean, since exposed clutter is very hard to keep free of dust.

CHECK FOR VOC EMISSIONS

Make sure you choose carpets, underlays and cushions that are made of fabrics with low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Test the fabric before buying it by placing a swatch in a clean, sealed jar and leaving it in the sun for a day.
You wouldn’t want a strong smell when you open the jar. If laying a new carpet, also test the adhesives that will be used during the installation process.

RETHINK SELF-CLEANING APPLIANCES

Self-cleaning ovens can emit very fine particles during the cleaning cycle. Consider buying a conventional oven that can be cleaned with a solution of baking soda dissolved in water. Apply this mixture to the inside of your oven, wait 30 minutes and then wipe off with a damp cloth.

THINK NATURAL SCENTS

Use an essential-oil diffuser with peppermint oil, or place cinnamon sticks in bowls. For a visual mood-enhancer, place jasmine and hyacinth flowers around the house to boost your mood!

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