We all love spending a Sunday afternoon shopping for antiques, be it a vintage dressing tables, Victorian clocks or pretty tiffany style lamps. In fact, while the antique market isn’t performing as well as it used to,millennials are more interested in 60’s pieces, there are still some great bargains if you know where to look.
Antique Clocks And Lamps
One of the most popular family heirlooms are tall, floor to ceiling grandfather clocks that feature elaborate designs and elegantly carved wood. Unfortunately, older pieces can contain Mercury, once used to weight clock pendulums and indicate temperature in barometers and old fashioned thermometers. While Mercury, when contained, is harmless, over time many of these delicate items get damaged, and it is possible for Mercury to escape. If you’ve been feeling sick, vomiting, having shortness of breath or experiencing chest pain it may be more than just a nasty bug; you may, in fact, be inhaling Mercury vapours. The best thing to do then is open all the window and shut the doors. Next, phone your local health department who’ll either give you advice on how to deal with it, or more likely, dispatch an environmental hazard team to your house.
Shower Curtains And Plastic Covers
Many of us buy new shower curtains, covers and soft, pliable plastic products without a second thought then, when we’ve got them home, start using them straight away. The problem with this is that these items can,on occasion, contain Phthalates which can be harmful to our health. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to these chemicals, as research has shown that prolonged exposure to products such as plastic aprons, beanbags and even tablecloths can lead to a change in hormones. Scientists have identified a strong causal link between exposure to Phthalates, and lower sperm counts in adult men because they were around contaminated plastic as a foetus. Still, before you go throwing away every single plastic item in the house and banning your kids from having bean bags it’s worth noting not all articles have them. Have you bought something and notice it smells, well, new? That fake weird new car smell probably means it contains chemicals so just take the product outside, airing it out until the smell evaporates and then bring it back indoors. Sunlight breaks down Phthalates quicker which is good because you don’t want to be inhaling them.
Painted Wooden Furniture
While vintage replicas sell like hotcakes like this from Plum Goose you can run the risk of dangerous chemicals being present in antique wardrobes, chests of drawers and even nursery chairs. However, you should also be careful of cheap furniture made with MDF, or ply board as it can contain formaldehyde which, if you come into contact with it, can cause wheezing, eye irritation, asthma, coughing and nausea. It’s better to spend a little extra cash, knowing your furniture has been treated with a special water-resistant coating that should lower any chemical emissions. Still, if you’re in any doubt avoid suspect furniture entirely and don’t place pressed wood furniture into children’s rooms. Eventually, they could become vulnerable to developing severe asthma.