Has a 10-year-old couch made with polyurethane completely offgassed all toxic material?

Asked by Willie Mays
Sebastian, FL

Will a 10-year-old couch made with polyurethane be safe to use? Do you have any suggestions other than getting rid of the furniture?


Sarah Barnard

Answered by Sarah Barnard

Los Angeles, CA

Sarah Barnard Design

November 17, 2010

Hi Willie,

After ten years it is likely that most, if not all, of your sofa's toxic fumes may have evaporated. The best thing to do (if your budget allows) would be to:

  • repurpose the frame, and
  • replace the foam with a natural alternative (like soy-based foam and organic cotton batting).

I've written some articles about things like this and you might find my blog useful.

I hope that helps!

For more information:

Read Mary Cordaro's Q&A "Do BFRs (brominated flame retardants) offgas or persist in upholstery? Would they be in the stuffing of a sofa, or in the fabric cover?"

Read Kati Curtis's Q&A "I am looking for fabric to reupholster a couch. Is 100% cotton as durable as synthetic fabrics?"

Tagged In: home air quality

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