Don't know your shellac from your lacquer? A new Green Seal report on "Wood Finishes and Stains" provides a helpful overview of non-toxic and stains and varnishes. The authors point out the advantages of natural oils and water-based stains. Their report concludes with a list of recommended stains and the VOC (Volitile Organic Compound) concentration of each stain is listed. This makes for a great quick reference to stains that contain no VOCs, carcinogens, aromatic solvents, phthalates, heavy metals, reproductive toxins and ozone-depleting chemicals. Very reassuring!
:: Choose Green Report (PDF file) [by Justin Thomas]