22 Aug

The dangers of dyes in imported furniture

We read with interest recently news of an Australian Furniture Association (AFA) investigation into the safety of azo dyes imported into Australia.

As interior designers, we are privy to more information than most about where the fabrics in our furnishings are manufactured and dyed, and above all, we ensure our products meet Australian standards and, where possible, are made in Australia.

In the recent report, the AFA found a risk of exposure to chemicals such as formaldehyde from bonded leather in imported furniture. Further, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a current focus on azo dyes they believe are at greatest risk of causing health problems when used in clothing and textiles such as bed linen. The synthetic dye is banned in Europe and considered a dangerous poison in Australia but is routinely found in garments imported into Australia, with Jeans West, Cotton On and Rivers earlier this year facing recall of hundreds of thousands of affected items.

At Beadles we strongly believe in the safety of our textiles and products, including not only their health impact but social consciousness also. Our Armadillo range of rugs for example, donate a portion of their proceeds to children’s charities in areas where the rugs are manufactured, and maintain ethical production and sustainable resources.

If you are unsure whether what you are buying is safe, look for information about the products’ country of manufacture, and for any notification of Australian safety standards being adhered to. This information is not always easily available especially when dealing with imported product.

Aside from dyes, it also pays to be aware of imported items such as lamps and the fact they need to be rewired for Australian standards and our voltage requirements. Again if you are unsure, seek advice, and shop with confidence at Beadles.