Dangers of Unhealthy, Unhygienic Wall-to-wall Carpeting
Did you know that carpeting is the #1 cause of indoor air pollution in suburban homes? Carpet has the largest surface area of anything in in the home. Taking up a huge amount of space, the materials used in the carpet, padding and installation make for a huge, ominous threat to the health of the inhabitants.
Like many other household products and furnishings, new carpet can be a source of chemical emissions. Carpet emits volatile organic compounds, as do products that accompany carpet installation such as adhesives and padding. Some people report symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation; headaches; skin irritations; shortness of breath or cough; and fatigue, which they may associate with new carpet installation. Carpet can also act as a “sink” for chemical and biological pollutants including pesticides, dust mites, and fungi.
Carpets may trap pollutants like dust mites, pet dander, cockroach allergens , particle pollution, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt and dust. Toxic gases in the air can adhere to small particles that settle into carpets. These pollutants may become airborne when disturbed by renovations, vacuuming or even daily activities like walking across the carpet. In the home, children are more likely to be exposed to pollution in carpets. They spend time playing on the floor and place their hands in their mouths. If a large area is covered in carpet, it may be very difficult to remove indoor air pollutants and allergens.
Chemicals used in some new carpets, carpet pads and the adhesives used to install them can harm your health. Some of these chemicals and glues are made with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which emit odors and pollutants. New carpet installation also has been associated with wheezing and coughing in babies in their first year of life.
Educated urbanites know that, in order to attain a truly healthy home, wall-to-wall carpeting should be avoided. There are wonderful alternatives to wall-to-wall carpeting. Natural fiber area rugs provide soft comfort and fashion when strategically added atop a wood, cork, linoleum, tile, or the mainstay of live-work lofts, the almighty polished concrete floor. Downtown loft dwellers prefer clean, modern flooring that is durable, allows for unfettered movement and unlimited possibilities.