Question

Are the finishes on older furniture are safe? Should I be concerned about toxins/VOCs?

Asked by Marcia
Castle Rock, CO

I want to purchase a solid oak pedestal table with medium stain finish. I am concerned about VOC levels in older stains (40 years or older?) and whatever other products that were typically used for older/antique pieces?

Answer

Marcia,

In most cases finishes off gas in a short period of time, however some compounds continue to off gas for an extended period of time.

Without knowing the compounds which were used, it is impossible to predict or calculate the length of off gassing, especially for a piece of furniture which is 40+ years old.

Should you be concerned? There should always be concern for the amount of VOC's which are present in your home. You have the ability to control the buildup of VOC’s by properly providing fresh air to the interior of your home while expelling stale air with a properly design heat/cooling system.

Tagged In: home air quality

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