21 Apr The Devil Is In The Details: How Furniture And Furnishings Can Affect Healthcare
Sometimes the things we don’t really notice can impact us the most. In the context of healthcare, background objects such as furniture and building materials can greatly contribute to the deterioration of health and wellness of both the patients and staff. This is due to toxic chemicals that can be found within walls and chairs, among others, which can make its way into indoor air and can slowly weaken the immunity of the sick.
In the path towards building sustainability for healthcare facilities, it is important to invest in safer furniture and construction materials to develop healthier environments for people to heal. The holistic perspective of sustainability would mean that healing should not only be limited within medicine and treatments.
A concrete example of this is the increasing demand for furniture free from toxic flame-retardants, which is linked to reproductive system failure, cancer, and delays in cognitive development. It is generally better to reduce chemical content such as mercury, lead, and urea formaldehyde in both furniture and furnishings.
Apart from this, it is essential to choose materials that are impervious, seamless and that can be easily cleaned in order to reduce surface contamination, thus reducing the chances for infections. Common pathogens can last on surfaces between 2 hours until up to more than 2 years! Of course, proper cleaning and regular maintenance should also be applied during healthcare facility operations.