You just found out that you are expecting a baby. What exciting news! So many things to do, but where do you start? Before you go out and paint the nursery, do your research first. The number of cases of early childhood allergies and asthma incidents has increased. The indoor air quality of your environment could contribute to this problem. To help ensure your child does not fall victim to this, use products that will not compromise the air quality of your child’s room.
Don’t wait for the last minute to paint. Start early to give the room enough time to air before the baby comes home. Use low VOC (volatile organic compound) products. Low VOC paints are less toxic and off-gas little to no fumes, compared to regular paint. Make sure when you paint, the room is well ventilated. Open windows to allow fresh air to flow in, employ fans to help dry the paint and extract air out.
Since babies love to roll around, crawl, play or nap on floors you might want to consider the material you use on your floor.
There are pros and cons with both natural and synthetic fibers. Natural fibers don’t off-gas like synthetic fibers. Off-gassing from man-made fibers could last over a period of time (weeks to several months, depending on the ventilation). Wool carpets are a great option. They are soft and hold their shape, plus they are resistant to stains and are naturally flame-retardant (non flammable). Wool fibers will not ignite if exposed to a flame. If choosing wool, organic wool is the better choice. It is not treated with toxic solvents, detergents, pesticides or chemicals. Make sure the backing and underlay pad are also made from untreated natural materials. One major con with wool is it is prone to mold and mildew if installed in moist humid areas. Install wool carpets in dry, well ventilated spaces. Another con, wool carpets are expensive, however they will last forever if maintained properly. Wool fibers capture and hold dust particles and therefore should be vacuumed at least weekly.
Man-made synthetic fibers demonstrate abrasion resistance (foot traffic wear), mildew resistance, and color retention. They are flammable and will melt if in contact with a flame or a hot surface, and stained easily by most foods and drinks. Because they are made from petroleum base materials and treated with chemicals, they will off-gas. It’s important to install them in well ventilated rooms.
I know you love your baby, so please seriously consider the information presented, and good luck!