Here’s hoping the trend of Victorian decor leaves the arsenic in the past

0 2

If toxic additives were found in modern home decor, regulations would require them to be removed, and fast. However, that wasn’t the case at the height of the Victorian era’s craze for wallpaper. In addition to authorities not acting at first (issuing suggestions rather than actual regulations), homeowners were fairly unbothered. 

Speaking to CNN, Hawksley explained that “the public loved the bright colors of the new wallpapers and even when they learnt the dyes contained arsenic, they did not consider the wallpapers dangerous — as long as you did not lick them.” Possibilities of kids not getting that memo notwithstanding, it’s worth noting that arsenic (even when not licked) is incredibly dangerous. It was believed that arsenic could have ended up permeating into the air. Symptoms of too much exposure to arsenic included anything from stomach problems to breathing issues and arrhythmia (issues with the rate of the heartbeat). This certainly gives a new meaning to the idea of home decor taking one’s breath away, albeit in the worst way. 

Over time, public awareness campaigns brought about a change. Towards the end of the 19th century, homeowners and wallpaper producers were no longer willing to take the risk, and wallpapers made with arsenic were phased out. More than a century later, it is incredibly unlikely that people will knowingly put their health at risk in the name of a home decor trend.

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.