Once again I am teaching through Palo Alto Adult School. I really love spreading the word about the many healthy furnishings and finish options now exist, but worry I will not get enough folks enrolled to run the class. I feel so passionatly that everyone who might even buy a storage cabinet at Ikea, or a sofa, deserves to know what effect that product might have on their health or the environment. Often, just by asking the right question, you can get a healthier product, but you need to know what question to ask. I think we all would like to think that nothing unhealthy, or unsafe could be in our furniture, and I hope that will be true some day.
I was reminded this week that there is a long way to go, when I read this article about Brominated Fire Retardants building up in the bodies of dolphins in Florida. These fireproofing agents are one of the chemicals that I have worked hard to eliminate in my practice, as they are currently found in the body fat of most animals, and in human breast milk around the world. YUK! It is associated with thyroid disease in cats, and is bioaccumulative- meaning it builds up in one's body over time. I help clients limit their exposure by upholstering without foam, and searching out fabrics that are not treated with these chemicals.
If you are curious about these kinds of issues, please consider taking my class. You’ll leave the class with a solid understanding of how to select materials for home interiors and the theory behind green building. I have made it sound very serious, but we do have fun. And we look at a lot of gorgeous and green tiles, fabrics, paints, coutertops and more!