The consumer awareness of pollutants in children and baby products has grown considerably in recent years and as a result so have the requirements for safety and quality. Manufacturers and retailers have to react to this. Health impairments or risks which could be caused by the products should of course be avoided or reduced to a minimum.

Many manufacturers are increasingly making sure that children’s furniture is not only childproof but also as free as possible from pollutants and environmentally friendly.

How can harmful substances in children’s furniture be avoided?

In Europe, the highest standard limits apply in terms of materials and workmanship that must be adhered to by all manufacturers. Roland Mayer, Managing Director of the children’s furniture company Paidi, recommends that only materials tested for harmful substances are used in the production of children’s and young people’s furniture and that attention should be paid to the selection of high-quality raw materials. In particular, the surfaces should be treated with pollutant-free materials.

“We only use high-quality materials and pay attention to certificates when procuring them. For the production of our furniture we only use solid wood from Europe or veneered and melamine resin coated chipboards from European woods as well as MDF boards with a non-toxic varnish. In the case of plastic parts, the customer can rely on us because we are PVC-free,” Mayer points out.

The manufacturer Oliver Furniture only makes use of wood from European forests. The children’s furniture is produced in European workshops under fair and sustainable conditions. If retailers opt for non-polluting materials, there may still be a risk of harmful substances from the processing of the furniture – when it is pasted, glued or surface-treated. These individual steps often involve the use of chemicals. Manufacturers can counteract this, for instance, by using water-based and UV varnishes.

Rørbæk also refers to the European Chemicals Regulation REACH on the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals: “The EU Chemicals Regulation REACH provides important information on chemicals that are used in the EU. With REACH, products containing “substances of very high concern” (SVHC) can be identified and avoided. The long-term aim is to ensure that substances of very high concern are no longer used in products and are not released into the environment during production, use or disposal. As we focus mainly on the baby and children’s furniture sector, it is extremely important to avoid health risks and promote sustainable production,” explains Rørbæk.

Consumer are willing to pay more

From our experience, we can say that the awareness for sustainably produced and pollutant-free children’s and youth furniture among (expectant) parents has risen sharply in recent years. They are also willing to spend more money on the health and safe growth of their offspring,” explains Roland Mayer from Paidi.

 

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Image: Oliver Furniture

//JP