As much as furniture was made to cater for our comfort, beautification and more, they can pose health risks to individuals. This is because some of them may contain a flammable retardant known as TDCIPP, known to cause cancer. This substance is usually found in mattresses, sofas and cushioned furniture.
However, find below some helpful tips to stay safe and get over the risk of contracting cancer through household furniture:
When next you make a furniture purchase, ensure you check the labeling to be sure it does not contain the cancerous substance. Sadly, in some cases, some furniture is not labeled, so it could be difficult to tell its components. Of what use is the furniture, if in the long run, it would pose serious health challenges emanating from cancer.
When you want to buy furniture, go for the ones made from natural materials like wood, wool and the likes. These materials are less likely to be immersed in flame –retardant chemicals. Avoid furniture that contains polyurethane foam often treated with flame retardant present as common filler in couches, chairs and rugs.
You can also start by repairing furniture rips. It has been observed that flame retardants are usually included in the polyurethane foam fillings of couches, chair and mattresses. It is best to get this rips sorted out so as to minimize exposure to cancerous growth in the body. Ripped upholstery increases one's chances of exposure to the harmful chemicals.
Children tend to be the major victims. According to researchers, children are more prone to inhale this substance than their parents because they spend most of their time on the floor where the dust particles accumulated from TDCIPP. Since dust is the major source of transmission of the flame retardants, ensure you keep surfaces and counter-tops free from dirt. It is advisable to vacuum regularly where children crawl often to keep dust away.
Lastly, always practice good hygiene. Wash your hands after contact with common surfaces of furniture or floor. Remind children to wash hands and wipe hands of babies/toddlers who spend most times on the carpet. This is because they are the ones that stand the health risk associated with the flame retardant chemicals.
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Akpo Patricia Uyeh
Patricia Akpo Uyeh is a multimedia freelance journalist/ Blogger. As a well-versed journalist, she has attended many conferences, workshops and trainings. She is passionate about youth empowerment, women and children’s rights as well as journalism. She holds a Master’s degree in Regional Planning and Development from the University of Lagos, Akoka.
Read more about Patricia on her blog