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Question from Miriam


We are setting up our homeschool environment and I have a few questions about furniture.
We’d like to get an ‘active’ chair for my son.  Most of the ones I’ve found don’t look great, materials are not really disclosed.  I did find this one, although more pricey, does this seem like a good option?
Made of beechwood grown and harvested in Northwestern Germany
Certified sustainable by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has 3 options for finishes:
1. PU varnish as a finish for naural,
2.  black nitrocellulose lacquer for black, or
3.  red nitrocellulose lacquer for red
Would you feel comfortable with any of these?

p.s. here are a few of the non-wood ones I had found, here and here – if any of these look decent, we’d do one of these perhaps:


Lisa’s Answer


I’d like a little more information about the chair from but it seems like the better choice over the 2 plastic alternatives.  First of all, is a B corp and states that they are committed to transparency and minimizing toxins and waste so I imagine they will be willing and able to provide the information we need.  The chair looks to be solid wood but the top of the chair is probably engineered.  I would want the following additional information:

Is the top of the chair solid wood and if not does the engineered wood have any certifications such as CARB Phase 2, NAF, etc.?

Is the adhesive used low VOC?  Is a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) available?

Is the PU lacquer low VOC?  Is a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) available?

I’d also ask if there anything else they can tell you about what steps are taken in the production of the chair to reduce toxins.
Let me know what you find.  You could also get the chair and paint it with an AFM Safecoat product to seal in any minimal VOCs.


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