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Marissa Mutt

  • Industrial and Digital Product Design
  • BA
  • The Impact of Indoor Air Quality on People – Raising Awareness of Formaldehyde-free Kitchen Furniture
  • Tutor: Mihkel-Emil Mikk, MA

People in the Nordic countries spend almost 90% of their lives indoors, even more in their homes. It is important to know that indoor air can be up to 10 times more polluted than outdoors.

When a person is surrounded by poor materials daily, contaminants accumulate in the body and can cause an unnoticed number of health problems. Over time, for example, allergies, asthma, or even tumors can develop.

Formaldehyde can be one of the most important pollutants in indoor air. It is a chemical that is used as a preservative in, for example, mortuaries, medicine, but also in furniture, textiles, and cosmetics, which is why this strong-smelling carcinogen is found in every home.

Currently, there is a situation in Estonia where a person can buy home materials that are harmful to health and contain formaldehyde. There are no specific regulations or they are rather recommended and awareness is low.

In my work, I focused on kitchen furniture, through which to raise awareness about the harmful effects of indoor air pollutants. The kitchen is something that is in every home and which is very important to pay attention. I looked for different natural materials in the work, suggesting which alternatives could be used in the context of kitchen furniture.