I had purchased a Melissa and Doug Deluxe Kitchen. My children daughter love it but it has this smell that has not gone away the entire time we've had it. If I sit next to it and the doors are open, my eyes actually burn. So I called Amazon and was told that since it was beyond their return policy they could do nothing about it. Next, I called Melissa and Doug only to discover that our "solid wood" kitchen set actually had MDF. I explained that I was very disappointed since "solid wood" to me means wood, like from a tree, not basically sawdust mixed with chemicals. They could do nothing to help me either but they did take my suggestion and changed the description on Amazon to "wooden". The moral of this story is that MDF can be marketed as "wood" so buyer beware!
I have been calling some of the companies that meet my other "safety standards" and confirming that they use real hardwoods. Below is a list of those I've found (I will continually update as I get more information):
Plan Toys has some great toys for all ages. They use wood from rubber trees which are no longer producing rubber. The wood is non-chemically treated and they use water-based colors that are safe for children of all ages. Plus they have developed non-formaldehyde glue, which is non-toxic and totally free from unhealthy formaldehyde emissions. Furthermore, they practice the "FOUR R's" of green living: Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. "Our manufacturing processes are designed to reduce waste and save energy. We reuse materials, and have introduced innovative methods to recycle paper and other products. We are always looking for new ways to improve and preserve our environment." Great for our kids and our planet!
Holgate Toys makes some great classic toys from maple and cherry trees grown right here in Pennsylvania. Made in the USA by a company committed to sustainable wood practices