Watch this video and learn how to create a safe, healthy, and non-toxic home for infants, kids, and adults. Avoid buying furniture and decor that contains these nine chemicals. They are in everyday fabrics, mattresses, sheets, and all types of furnishings.

1. The first toxic chemical to avoid in furniture is PBTE flame retardants.

  • A recent study found these chemicals are the greatest contributor to intellectual disabilities like ADHD and autism. Can you believe things like this are used to make crib mattresses?!


  • They’re in really pretty much everything, including upholstery, and it’s called the forever chemical. A recent study found PFAS was detected in the blood of 97% of Americans, including babies and children.

3. Formaldehyde

  • Formaldehyde is actually in tons of fabrics, and it’s one of the biggest chemicals in leather. Very, very dangerous. And also in wrinkle-free sheets. Don’t ever buy wrinkle-free sheets. They contain formaldehyde

4. Azo dyes

  • This dye is banned in Europe. So if you buy a printed fabric, for example, or a printed set of sheets, and it does not say that there are azo dyes in it, you can assume there are. So don’t buy them.

5. The fifth toxic chemical to avoid in furniture is Chlorine.

  • Chlorine that’s used in the process of cleaning wool.

6. Wool

Wool also contains a ton of pesticides, which is next on my list. There we go.

  • Pesticides are used to keep animal-based materials free from bugs. So most animal-based materials contain pesticides. Even if they say they don’t in the end product, they had pesticides in them from the beginning. So they’re never free.

This is why vegan rugs (cotton, jute, bamboo silk, etc.) are preferable. Vegan rugs are made from plant-based materials that are safe for you (and your kids). Wool rugs attract not only bugs, but moisture & lots of dust. You wouldn’t want your newborn crawling around in all that, would you?

7. Phthalates

Phthalates are a class of chemicals used in nearly every consumer product from plastics to tablecloths. As for furniture, they can be found in floor tiles, furniture, upholstery, plastic kid’s toys, and carpet backings.

  • More than 470 million pounds of phthalates are produced or imported into the US yearly.

8. Arsenic

Arsenic is another chemical that is also found in leather and many other animal skins. Arsenic. Crazy, right?

  • Tanneries are one of the most toxic industries in the world, and that is where all the leather ends up.
  • Tanneries are where the skins are tanned (because leather is really the skin of a dead animal. So if you just leave it there, it’s going to rot, just like a scab that we have on our skin).
  • Leather has to be soaked in chemicals, just like any other animal-based material. Leather is just bad energy and that kind of energy doesn’t need to be brought into your home – especially if you have children.

Arsenic is what they sing about in The Grinch, right? “You’re a three-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich with arsenic sauce!” When it’s being used as an insult like that, I’m sure even our kids picked up on the fact that it’s bad news!

9. And last toxic chemical to avoid in furniture is chromium.

  • Chromium is a lethal chemical also used in the tanning process of leather (and we already know leather is bad juju).

So, those are 9 chemicals to avoid in furniture. They’re extremely detrimental to all age groups, but especially babies & kids. When buying furniture & decor for your child’s space, it’s important to stay far away from products that use these chemicals to manufacture their goods.

A child’s immune system takes a long period of time to strengthen itself & know how to fight back against its surroundings. So, what you can do for their health & safety while they’re in such a vulnerable state is get educated!

Need help shopping for chemical-free & cruelty-free alternatives for your family’s home? Check out our Nursery Design Resource Guide – it’s a tool to point you in the right direction when shopping online or in-store.

Learn from Deborah on YouTube

People want to come home to healthier, happier environments. Zero toxin, vegan and wellness design is becoming the “new normal.”

Deborah DiMare Miami New York Design Consultant
– Deborah DiMare –


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In case you missed it 🌸

Have you taken our newest beginner course?!
Learn more about the Online Nursery & Kids Room Design Course.
Need help finding non-toxic and cruelty-free furniture & decor?
Check our Resource Guide (150+ brands!)
Need help creating a safe & healthy home for you & your family?
BOOK US for a 20-minute call!
Need even more family-friendly home design tips?
Check out our FREE 23 Chemical and Cruelty Free Design Tips Sheet
Here’s a link to a financial guide for parents of children with disabilities
Why go vegan on your mattress
Meghan Markle and her choice of nursery paint
Apps for kids with Autism
Check out a complete guide to renovating your kitchen
Creating a Chemical Stress-Free Home
Bentley Goes Vegan and Leather Alternatives 101
Why You Should Always Say Yes to a Nursery Design Project
31 Best Outdoor Furniture Stores to Turn Your Space Into an Oasis

Just a heads up, this article may contain links to affiliate sites, products or services. If you purchase something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more! The affiliate simply provides us with a small commission which helps us fund our operations, promoting healthy & compassionate interior decorating.

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Say hello to Deborah!

I’m Deborah! My mission is to show others by demonstration, that no living being, human & non, be sacrificed for beautiful, non toxic, healthy & durable furniture & decor. More about me.

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