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Question from Stacey


I’m wondering if cowhide rugs are toxic, or if the end product is toxic to touch. I am aware that the tannins used in the process of leather-making are toxic, so I avoid leather furniture.
Would a cowhide rug be safe for my home?

Lisa’s Answer


Most cowhide rugs are made with a chrome tanning process, similar to leather.  It is toxic.  Some of the more toxic chemicals are Chrome VI, AZO-dyes, and formaldehyde.  Like leather, cowhide can be made with a vegetable tanning process which doesn’t use chrome VI or some of the other harsher chemicals, but it does use chemicals.  If you are interested in a vegetable tanned product, you would need to understand the chemicals used for the particular item.


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