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Chemical Scent in IKEA Shelving?

Posted by honeyhaze (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 9, 08 at 1:26

I'm expecting in February and have been furnishing our nursery for the past several months. SOMETHING in there is giving off a terrible chemical scent. I've tried to narrow it down, but I haven't had any luck so far. Here's what we have:

- Babymod crib. This was the first item put into the room and it didn't smell bad at all. I don't think this is the problem.

- Pressboard moldings. I bought these by mistake and we ended up installing them anyway. They had an odor when I first stacked them in the room and they might be the offending party, but I'm not sure.

- IKEA Poang chair. This thing REEKED when I first brought it home and opened the package. It was the cushions. I aired them out in the sun for a couple of weeks and the scent dramatically faded after awhile. When I put my nose up to a cushion now there isn't any detectable scent coming from it.

- IKEA Expedit shelving. These also had a strong odor when I installed them. What's up with IKEA stuff smelling so bad?

I'm not sure what to do. I know I made a mistake by using fiberboard that likely has formaldehyde in it, but there's not a whole lot I can do now. The moldings are nailed up. The shelving is assembled and I wouldn't be able to pick up anything similar if I sold it and tried to buy solid wood. I've tried washing the surfaces with PureAyee, I've put out bowls of baking soda and other odor absorbents, without much effect. I even filled the room with air purifying plants... one of the plants seemed to get kind of sick in there and I had to take it out (the others are fine).

I've had all the windows open and intend to continue airing out the room for as long as I can. It's been months. The chemical scent has faded some, but any time I close the windows I notice the smell again within an hour or two. Something in there is off-gassing likely crazy. I'm worried that this will continue after the baby is born and I'll have to start disassembling the room so that it's usable and doesn't have a chemical odor.

What can I do? I'm pretty sure it's either the crown molding or the shelving. Aside from removing them, I'll try anything. Different plants? A special type of spray? Some kind of surface treatment? I'll give it all a shot...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Chemical Scent in IKEA Shelving?

I have IKEA shelving in our house (and PLENTY of IKEA case goods), and have had NO problems with outgassing at all.

I think it is your molding, not shelving....


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RE: Chemical Scent in IKEA Shelving?

I have a sofa from IKEA that still has a strong outgassy odor to it after several months. It is in a little used guest room where the door is shut most of the time. It's fully upholstered and something in that upholstery is just smelly - not unpleasant -- it just smells like the IKEA store.

I'd try removing the Poang chair to see if the smell goes away - that's easy to do and would allow you to identify or eliminate the chair as the culprit pretty quickly.


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RE: Chemical Scent in IKEA Shelving?

It's the expedite shelving. I purchase two units and installed in my bedroom. Even after several months I still cannot stand the unpleasant "amine" type chemical odor emanating from on of the shelves (1 wide by 5 high). I've opened windows and aimed a fan on the shelf. It's still there. Color is black/brown. Purchased at new haven, ct ikea in June 2011. The odor seems to be at it's worst during humid weather. I had thought it was the finish but perhaps it is the particle board. I have another expidit shelf (4x4) in the same finish that I bought at the same time w no problem. Final note, I use a cpap machine to sleep. It pulls air in through a filter and through a mask on my face and into my lungs. Originally I had the cpap on this shelf and after a few days I looked at the filter it had black is coloration on it (never been there before until expedit) so I moved the cpap to the other side of the room and no more black on the filter. Hope this helps. Sniff your shelving before you buy, apparently!


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