The melamine headboard in my daughter's bedroom has strange, almost 'dust-like' odor. I am worried that it's off-gassing?

Asked by cristy
Fremont, CA

I bought a mellamine headboard on 2008, and recently I have noticed a strange, almost 'dust-like' odor coming from somewhere in my daughter's room. I put my nose into everything, and the headboard was the one that had this smell. Is it time to replace it with read wood perhaps? Thank you.


Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Answered by Molly McCabe, AKBD, CGP, CAPS

Bainbridge Island, WA

A Kitchen That Works LLC

February 4, 2013

Dear Cristy,

Chances are the melamine has already off-gassed the majority of whatever chemicals it started with but stranger things have been known to happen.

  • Have you moved the bed recently so that the headboard is close to a wall heater or heat register which may be activating the glues in the melamine?
  • Have you recently applied a salve or lotion to your daughter’s skin that may have gotten on the headboard and may be co-producing the odor?

Regardless, if you have the financial resources, changing out the head board for solid wood would be a wise investment in your family’s health.

Here are a few website to browse for environmentally oriented kid furniture:

If you do not find what you need at one of the websites above then consider looking for manufacturers and retailers on the Sustainable Furnishings Council’s website.

Good Luck!


For more information:

Read "How should I deal with off-gassing from a Melamine desk?" a Q&A answered by Joel Hirshberg.

Tagged In: home air quality

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