Helping you DESIGN the Life of Your Dreams DeAnnaRadaj...Helping You Design the Life of Your Dreams From the Outside In
Let’s talk formaldehyde in this week’s blog. A lot has been made recently of the problems and issues surrounding formaldehyde and the sickness that can result in an over-abundance of products that are off-gassing this chemical into our spaces. (Think of the fall-out from the FEMA trailers used for hurricane relief efforts in Katrina and the resulting “Katrina cough” that survivors are suffering from). Formaldehyde is used in the manufacturing of fertilizers, dyes, embalming fluid, preservatives and disinfectants, as well as plastics, cosmetics, paper, wood (MDF), nail polish, mouthwash, hairspray, over-the-counter medications, perfumes, waxes, air fresheners, floor polishes, fungicides and clothes (anti-wrinkle, anti-stain, the color-stay chemicals used in the textile industry).
***Wash all NEW clothes or any other new textiles you bring into your space to remove some of the chemicals. If you want to avoid all together, you will need to switch to an all organic cotton wardrobe/décor. Only use biodegradable, all natural laundry products as most widely available household cleaners only add more chemicals.***
Reactions to formaldehyde include: headaches, rashes, hives, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, ear infections, insomnia, memory loss, trouble focusing, depressions, weakness, abdominal pain, aching joints/muscles, difficulty breathing and chronic fatigue. All of these symptoms have been mis-diagnosed as stress, anxiety and/or depression.
***Due to the increase in toxic buildup in our bodies, dead bodies are not decomposing as fast as they use to. Bodies used to decompose in 4 days, but now it takes at least 7 days after death. Also of note is that twice the amount of formaldehyde was needed to embalm a person 20 years ago as compared to today.***
OK-so now you want to get rid of anything and everything that has formaldehyde in it, however formaldehyde is listed under different names. Look for a formaldehyde-releasing preservative called Quaternium-15. This chemicals is found in foundations, powders, concealers, blush, makeup removers and other skin care products. However, adhesives, paperboard, ink, polish and latex paints also contain this product.
In terms of GREEN design and remodeling, look for products that are “healthy” and eco-friendly. Examples: no or low VOC paints, adhesives, primers and stains. Do a GOOGLE search to find a retailer that is close to you. All paint manufacturers offer a low or no VOC paint and primer-just ask. There are also GREEN builders and designers that are educated and available to consult and help you make the best eco-friendly choices for your home. Many furniture manufacturers, vendors and retailers are offering GREEN and/or organic furnishings for your home in terms of furniture construction and materials used. Again, if you have a questions, ask an associate for help.