May 15, 2009

Learn from My Mistake! The Perils of Polyurethane Foam

We are in the market for an ottoman, and I found one that I thought was a great "deal." I was so excited by the bargain (why are ottoman's so expensive anyway? nearly as much as an entire sofa!), and by the fact that it wasn't leather, that it completely slipped my mind to ask what it was made out of.

So... we eagerly open the box it came in and POOF! out comes the most noxious fumes I can ever remember smelling. I instantly got a headache. I flip the thing over and read that it's made of polyurethane foam, which, among other problems, off gasses VOC's. Click here to read more bad news about polyurethane foam in this article: Five Problems with Baby Mattresses.

My husband moved the ottoman to our patio to "air out" for several hours, but when we brought it back inside, it was just as potent smelling. We proceeded to try to put our feet up on it to watch a film, but after hiding my nose and mouth in my shirt for an hour, and getting an increasingly bad headache, we packed it back in its box and are returning it to the store. My husband joked that he was sure he had gotten "nostril cancer" from the thing.

Lesson here: don't be blindsighted by a new purchase for your home because it's a good deal. I should have done my research like I always do, on the make-up of every item I bring into our house.

Read more about the perils of polyurethane foam here

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