Question

What top three things should I consider when decorating my newborn's nursery?

Asked by Peter Hernandez
Los Angeles, CA

I am going with no VOC paints and trying to buy safe furniture but what else should I be aware of in regards to indoor air quality and health?

Answer

Answered by Erik Heuler

East Setauket, NY

Peter Caradonna Architecture & Planning

August 9, 2012

Peter,

You are on the right path. I would say the top three things for improving indoor air quality would be: 

  • installing non-toxic materials,
  • reducing the amount of pollutants you bring in - with cleaning products or on your shoes for instance, and
  • providing adequate fresh air.

In addition to the paints and furniture, flooring and window coverings can also be a source of toxins. In regard to flooring, if you're looking for carpet look for products certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus. If you have wood floors I would recommend using a finish that has zero VOC. As for window treatments look for products that are Greenguard certified.

You should also consider how, and with what, you are cleaning. There are lots of safer cleaning products available so they shouldn't be hard to find.

Providing fresh air should not be localized to the nursery but affects your whole house. If you already have a ventilation system make sure the filters are replaced as often as necessary.

  • If this hasn't been maintained you may want to have your ducts cleaned by a professional.
  • If your house doesn't have a ventilation system you may want to consider it.
  • Until then you could open a window when the weather permits.

Hope this helps & congratulations on the new addition to your family.

 

For more information:

Check our green baby nursery section for tips, backgrounders, etc.

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