Recently, there has been a surge in the use of organic finishes for baby cribs, drawers, and other types of furniture. Generally speaking, everything that is organic is certainly better than man-made chemicals. But when it comes to furniture, does it really matter? Does it make any difference?
Judging by the number of brands that have begun to adopt these alternative finishes, the use of organic finishes must be beneficial for both the customers and the manufacturers. But is it actually important for the customers? What do organic finishes mean anyway for a crib?
This brief article would answer those questions and shed some light on several subjects that are heavily connected to the topic of organic finishes as well.
The studies conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and another scientist from various institutions found that most of the potentially harmful chemicals exist indoors. Inside our house and our rooms. These airborne chemicals are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).
VOC usually comes from the chemicals inside the building materials, interior furnishing, furniture finishes, cleaning products, and even personal care products. In a wide-open environment with free-flowing air, VOCs are relatively harmless. But indoors, the level could reach up to a thousand times higher, which is very dangerous especially for the long-term health of an infant.
As a response to these rising concerns, a certification called Greenguard was developed and established specifically to test the effect of the furniture, building materials, and other indoor properties on the quality of the indoor air. There is also a Greenguard Gold certification that has a much more stringent evaluation that was made for anything that is marketed to be used for and near children and babies.
Greenguard certification is one of the environmental standards that is recognized and accepted all around the world. Since it is extremely difficult to pass their evaluation, any brands that manage to earn a Greenguard certification would proudly showcase their badge on their products. Not only as a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors but also to inform their customers that their products are truly safe to use. This is one of the reasons why we love Romina baby cribs so much, and that is because their products have all passed these strict tests.
One of the staples of Greenguard certified furniture, especially for a crib, is the organic finishes. Organic finishes simply mean the use of organic material for the finishes of furniture rather than the use of chemical components such as lead, phthalates, hard metals, VOCs, or any other inorganic material.
Organic finishes protect the furniture in a much more natural way which leads not only to overall better product quality and safety but also to a longer lifespan of the product. Inorganic finishes, on the other hand, are much cheaper than organic ones. And that's why they are still widely used by lots of manufacturers.
So what do organic finishes mean for baby cribs? It means an extra layer of protection and security. It means making sure that the child won't be affected by VOCs and any other potentially harmful chemicals. And most importantly, it means providing the best and the safest option for the crucial early years of a child.
As I mentioned before, the level of VOCs indoors is much higher than outdoors. And furniture finishes are one of the leading sources of it. So, letting babies sleep in a crib that was fully coated with VOCs is downright dangerous and could potentially cause a negative long-term effect on their health.
So yes, a crib that uses organic finishes is extremely important for a baby. That's why you should always check about the finishes of a crib before you buy it. One of the easiest and fastest methods is by only looking at cribs that have earned Greenguard Gold certification. The options might be limited, but you can be sure that the finishes would be organic.
Cribs with organic finishes usually cost a bit more than the regular ones. While organic finishes have been around for a long time, the use of inorganic ones keep on getting more effective, efficient, and more importantly, cheaper.
That's why the majority of the furniture in the market still uses inorganic finishes. The level of VOCs and other harmful chemicals on that furniture certainly varies from one brand to the next. But as long as they use inorganic finishes, then the threat would still be there.
If you could afford it, then it's certainly better if every piece of furniture in your house uses organic finishes. But be prepared to spend tens of thousands of dollars if you choose to follow that route. Because as I said earlier, furniture with organic finishes, especially those that have earned a Greenguard certification, are quite expensive.
If you have a limited budget, however, then at least make sure that the furniture in your children's room, like the cribs and the drawers, uses organic finishes. Because that's where they would spend most of their time, so you have to secure that particular room.
Finishing on furniture seems to be the last thing on anybody's mind when it comes to buying a baby crib. But as I've laid out in this article, it is an important issue that you should pay close attention to.
Those early years are the most crucial time in the development of a child, so the parents must do whatever it takes to protect and prevent any negative outside influence from affecting the child.
What might not affect the parents could certainly affect the child. From the air freshener to the type of finishes on the cribs, everything contributes to the overall quality of the air that the child inhales.
The difference between organic and inorganic finishes could determine whether or not your child would be exposed to VOCs and other harmful chemicals or not. So always be vigilant.