Question from Olga
I recently purchased furniture from Wayfair.com. The smell is awful and not going away after several weeks. I contacted them and told them about it. They really don’t care. After looking into the furniture and maker I realized it has a warning for California proposition 65. I called them back trying to get more information on this and how it can affect my health and my children’s Health. The person I spoke to said we should be fine since we are not eating the furniture. The chemical in question is Cadmium. I have looked into it and all the side effects of this chemical. Is she right? Are we ok because it is on furniture and not being ingested??
I think you have two different issues. The smell is not likely due to cadmium, which does not have a detectable odor. The smell is more likely VOC off-gassing from adhesives, sealants or coatings. It’s difficult to identify the source without knowing what type of furniture you have purchased and what materials it is made from. One option is to seal any hard surfaces with a product like AFM Safecoat. It may also help to air it out outside for several days.
As for the cadmium, it is most likely from a pigment or coating on the furniture. While cadmium can be absorbed through the skin, that is not considered to be a major route of exposure. The most worrisome type of exposure after cigarette smoke, is ingestion, which is why it’s so important to make sure your cookware does not contain cadmium. Cadmium in your furniture is a lower risk than in your cookware but I still would not want it in my home.