The Ribble Valley is renowned for its picturesque, unspoilt beauty. A popular haunt for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders, it was the inspiration for J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Naturally, the local Borough Council are keen to protect the environment, but there are ways the local residents can help too – by buying Victorian dining chairs in place of modern furniture, for example.
In Lancashire, antique dining tables, Victorian mahogany pedestal desks and other fine furniture represent a double investment; not only financially, but environmentally too. If you are still pondering whether to buy modern, or Victorian balloon backed dining chairs for your Ribble Valley home, how about this – filling your home with antique furniture could actually benefit your health. In fact, it could prove to be a lifesaver.
Most modern furniture is made from composite materials such as particleboard, pressed wood or plywood, perhaps covered with a thin wood veneer or fabric to improve the look. However, what the manufacturers neglect to tell you is that these composites pose a very real threat to human health, due to the out-gassing of toxic vapours such as formaldehyde. A known carcinogen, formaldehyde is one of the more common industrial pollutants, reported to cause numerous health problems. Despite EU REACH legislation, material containing formaldehyde is still imported, often from China.
Interestingly, some Chinese antiques are also prone to outgassing – but this time in a totally eco-friendly fashion. For example, antique dealers in Preston often have antique chests made of camphor wood for sale. Prized for their ability to keep insects (as well as stuffed noses) at bay, these chests were brought back to Lancashire by sailors returning from the Orient.
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