My husband made a bed for us and used an oil based outdoor stain/sealant (Olympic Maximum), since he had a lot left from a previous project and wanted to use it up. I've read that exterior stains have extra fungicides and moldicides that make it inappropriate for indoor use, and especially being pregnant I'm not comfortable sleeping on a bed with such high VOCs. Is it possible for him to just re-seal it with a low VOC seal (like maybe EcoSafe, etc), or is there no way to undo this? Or will it all just off-gas eventually? Thanks!
I understand your concern and commend you for seeking assistance to prevent problems with your unborn child.
Below is a link which relates to your concerns and the possible VOC's that may be present. It is well worth reading, particularly the section entitled Emissions highest during first 4 days.
Though the above article deals with paint by Benjamin Moore and you are concerned about the Olympic Outdoor Varnish used to refinish the bed your husband made, the issues are very similar.
The greatest amount of VOC's emitted were when the bed was being varnished and would remain high for several days while it dried and the finish cured. Once the finished dried completely (possibly a week or two) the level of VOC's fails dramatically and will continue to drop the longer the finish is allowed to cure.
Taking the information from the link above, I believe your concerns about using the bed in its present state will be laid to rest the longer it is allowed to cure before use so long as the curing is allowed to progress in an area outside your present living space. In other words, if the bed was varnished a month ago, and brought into your home for use after it was completely dry the level of VOC's that may be emitted to the air would be very low and quite safe for you and your unborn child. However, if you are still concerned and the time has not been that long remove it to a space where it can cure safely outside your living space until it has cured at least that long before bring it in and using it. Quite honestly, I don't see much issue with the level of VOC's once it is completely dry and no further surface treatment of the bed is required for it to be safe to be used by you. Alternatively, talk with your spouse about your concerns, no doubt he wants what's best for the family and you and will take the needed steps to alleviate your concerns and those for your baby's well-being.
Others may have additional suggestions.
Take care!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Simply_Me,
Thank you, this is very helpful!
I'm wondering if there is any type of gauge that could measure the level of VOCs being emitted.
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