November 18, 2008
Imagine walking into a kitchen showroom with a 2 month old granddaughter (she was awake and happy for the moment). They are remodeling the space and using a lacquer thinner to clean up a new counter installation. Some people don’t mind the smell; I can’t stay in the space for very long. Now we know that not only is that smell not healthy for you, it is awful for an infant.
Just what is that smell? VOC’s — Volatile Organic Compounds that off-gas. They are said to add to poor air quality and can be harmful to our health — so who would want to expose an infant to those odors? Not me. So we left the showroom and walked outside for some fresh air.
That showroom is just a reminder of watching out for our continued good health. It was easy to escape from that smell, but, what about your home? As interior designers, we are constantly on alert for the makeup of the materials that we specify. Your cabinets, counter-tops, flooring, PAINT – all can be chosen with off-gassing in mind. If you want to find out more about a product, the GREENGUARD website is a place to start. They list products they have certified, as well having information about children and indoor health.
With the winter season upon us, it is even more important to consider the materials we bring into our homes and the health of our families.
Here’s to your good health!