Carpet and Allergies

Many people think carpeting can cause allergic reactions or other health problems.

The issue revolves around the emission of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). There seems to be a misconception that carpet fibers themselves produce VOC’s. It appears that VOC’s are actually found in the air of carpet manufacturing facilities and get trapped within carpeting. VOC’s are then released into the air of a home for a few days after installation (until the carpet is aired out). These emissions are generally at a very low level and will stop after a few days. It has never been proven that VOC’s are ever emitted at an “unsafe” level. However, in response to complaints, the Carpet and Rug Institute began placing a green label on carpets that pass its test for safe VOC emission levels.

In general, allergy problems do not arise from carpet itself, but from dust mites, dirt and mildew that can build up in carpet due to a lack of cleaning.

VOC’s can also be emitted by an adhesive called “seam sealer.” If this is a concern, you can ask your installer to use a seam sealer with the a CRI green label.

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