Childhood Crohn’s and Colitis Mistake #4:
Toxic particle board in kids’ bedroom furniture
Particle board, also known as pressboard, is a very common component of cribs, beds, shelving and dressers. There is often a sheet of particle board under the mattress as the support. Shelving is often made of particle board with a thin veneer covering it. The glue that holds the wood chips together is a potent source of formaldehyde which out-gasses into the air and fills the room and your house with toxic chemicals.
Just like the chemicals in fabric softener and synthetic clothing, these substances can cause reactions in your child’s digestive tract. The stress they put on the immune system has a crippling effect on it, which interferes with the ability of the bowel to heal. Clearly, this will not be helpful to kids who suffer from childhood Crohn’s or Colitis.
In fact, in 2008, the Attorney General of California sued five baby furniture manufacturers because they were not telling their customers about the dangerously high levels of formaldehyde in their cribs and other baby items….
For kid-friendly furniture that protects your child’s health, it is best to have solid wood or metal furniture and avoid particle board altogether. If this is not practical, buy a non-toxic sealant that can be painted onto the particle board. This seals the board and prevents any further out-gassing of the glue. You may need to apply several coats. Be sure to remove the particle board from the bedroom when you apply the sealant and allow several days for the sealant to dry and cure before returning it to the bedroom.
Be cautious when re-decorating a child’s room or preparing a nursery for the arrival of a new baby. (Pregnant mums should beware of exposing themselves and their developing human to toxic decorating materials as well!) Fresh paint and new furniture can cause all of the same problems outlined above. Fortunately there are more environmentally friendly, low VOC paints available on the market today and you are well advised to use them to protect your child or baby from digestive problems and other health issues.
While you’re at it, make sure to wash all those brand-new infant’s clothes you received at the baby shower before putting them against the delicate skin of your newborn.
Go to Mistake #3 Hazardous fabric in children’s clothing and bedding.