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Totally stressed out

Delaine

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
385
I have been so stressed out the last few days. Our 20 year old couch finally literally caved in and we decided to get a new love seat. This was in our TV room which is also my two piggies' room. I checked before I bought the new loveseat to make sure it would not have any fumes and they told me all the materials were from North America and it was only assembled in China. Well, not true. We got it home and set it up and it smelled awful of chemicals. Well, I am freaking out because I felt my girls were like canaries in a coal mine. My husband's eyes were burning and my girls were in that room 24/7. They actually didn't seemed bothered by it, but I was. I usually close their door at night and turn on a heater to keep their room at a comfortable temperature and I was afraid to close the door or turn on the heater! My husband agreed it did smell bad so today we packed it up and returned it and I made them give me my money back. I wanted to get it back before the 72 hour return policy was up. We nailed some boards underneath the old couch and I am keeping it until I can find a loveseat made in North America and can be guaranteed fume free. My girls' health is far more important than a new couch. I needed to share this with all of you because I knew you would understand. Not many of my friends understand my feelings for my two wonderful piggies. Their attitude is "They are only guinea pigs".
 
Your piggys are lucky to have you!!
 
Non piggie lovers never understand the lengths we go to for our guinea pigs.
 
What was the couch made of? My mother in law had a severe reaction to the fabric in a brand new van my sister in law had. They had to take her to the emergency room. I think some of those flame retardants are the culprits. You're lucky you were able to send it back.
 
I'm glad you returned it -- your girls may have developed issues later and probably wouldn't show you it's bothering them until they were really sick. I read this today about "new car smell" actually being toxic fumes from flame retardants, lead, and chromium:

Study suggests new car smell is actually toxic - WTOP.com

Given what we know those can do to human / animal health and development, you may have saved yourself more than a headache. With the couch, I'd ask about flame retardants but also any kind of scotch-guard spray. If it's shipped from overseas I'd ask about any kind of chemicals they use to stop or retard pest growth (such as carpet weevils) in their shipping containers.
 
What was the couch made of? My mother in law had a severe reaction to the fabric in a brand new van my sister in law had. They had to take her to the emergency room. I think some of those flame retardants are the culprits. You're lucky you were able to send it back.

It was a reclining loveseat made out of Italian leather, with the sides and back vinyl. We got it from The Brick and they told me all the materials were North American made and only assembled in China, but when I looked on line it said the foam and fabric was imported (meaning China). I bought a leather sofa set 6 years ago, made in Canada, and I don't remember any odour other than a leather smell if you put your nose right up to it. They argued with me but we had already dropped it off at the customer pick up area. I had asked all the right questions, but was not given the correct answers and they admitted this. They could also tell I wasn't going to give up, so I was lucky they refunded my money.
 
Wildcavy, those are good questions to ask if I decide to start looking again. I think I will stay with the brand Palliser, made in Canada. It will cost a lot more, but will a healthier choice. Even then I am going to grill the sales people. I use natural products in my house, we buy organic produce whenever possible (even for my piggies) and have always tried to steer clear of toxic substances. I guess I just cheaped out this time. It was a good eye opener. Thanks
 
You may also want to consider purchasing something in excellent used condition, that way you don't have to worry about off-gassing. Think of it as "couch rescue" instead of purchasing from a "furniture store." LOL.

If you purchase new and you have room in your garage you can let it sit with a door or window cracked open for at least a week before bringing them into your house. Off-gas levels of many compounds decrease dramatically in the first few days after they are removed from packaging.
 
You may also want to consider purchasing something in excellent used condition, that way you don't have to worry about off-gassing. Think of it as "couch rescue" instead of purchasing from a "furniture store." LOL.

If you purchase new and you have room in your garage you can let it sit with a door or window cracked open for at least a week before bringing them into your house. Off-gas levels of many compounds decrease dramatically in the first few days after they are removed from packaging.

We were talking about looking for used tonight. Both your suggestions make good sense. Thanks.
 
Be very careful about buying used upholstered furniture. There are widespread bedbug infestations everywhere, and they can't be killed by pesticides -- it takes heat treatments.
 
Be very careful about buying used upholstered furniture. There are widespread bedbug infestations everywhere, and they can't be killed by pesticides -- it takes heat treatments.

Thanks, that is a very good point. My son and I were talking last night about second hand mattresses and the chance of bedbugs, but I never connected them with used living room furniture.
 
So the final decision....keep the 20 year old leather couch and nail boards on the underside for support. It is a little firmer but no off gassing from buying new or bedbugs from someone elses used.
 
I applaud you! What a loving owner you are.

This is a little off topic but years ago we had a futon we picked up while my Dad was stationed in Japan that we had turned into a dog bed. Our dalmatian (who was 7 years old) decided to tear into it one day and died of kidney failure two days later. We had no idea she had ingested the cushioning inside (cause there was so much all over the floor we thought it was all there) but the vet said it was probably so saturated with formaldehyde that it killed her. She also cautioned that fumes from furniture could be really harmful to animal and human health and to be cautious of any purchases made in the future (we had two parakeets at the time as well). Crazy to think something as simple as a couch can harm you and your pets....
 
Speaking of bedbugs, you need to be really careful of any purchase you make at Goodwill stores. I bought a water color for the nice frame it came with. When I took it out of my trunk, I noticed something moving inside the glass. It was a tiny bed bug. I took it all apart in the yard, cleaned it, wrapped in a hefty bag and left it in the garage....... It's still in there. I'm still afraid to bring it in the house, even after a couple of years. I'll bet once one thing comes in there with bedbugs, they spread rapidly.
 
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