7 Myths and Misconceptions about Carpet’s Affect on Indoor Air Quality
”The suggestion that carpet causes indoor air quality problems is a significant issue for the carpet industry to address,” said Werner Braun, president of CRI. “Through research, CRI offers information that is valuable to anyone living with carpet.”
The following myths have been identified as the most persistent misconceptions, according to Mr. Braun. Due to space limitations, we don’t list the full reference studies used in this research. That information can be viewed on the CRI website, listed at the end of this article.
Myth No. 1: “There are health risks associated with carpet.”
Truth: An extensive toxicological assessment of components of carpet concluded that the chemicals in carpet pose no health risks of public concern.
Myth No. 2: “Mold and mildew can grow in carpet.”
Truth: Mold and mildew exist ONLY where there is excess moisture and dirt coupled with poor cleaning and maintenance habits. Mold growth can occur on any surface-from windowpanes to carpet- that is not properly maintained and when moisture is extreme. Eliminating sources of excessive moisture, such as water leaks, and controlling humidity greatly offset the potential for mold to grow.
Myth No. 3: “Carpet is a cause of the asthma and allergy increase.”
Truth: Comparison data from Sweden supports that there is no link between carpet usage and the incidence of asthma or allergies. CRI is not aware of any published scientific research demonstrating a link between carpet and asthma or allergies.
Myth No. 4: “Carpet is a sink for allergy-causing substances.”
Truth: This is true as stated. The critical point, however, is often missed. Carpet holds allergen-causing substances tightly and, as a result, keeps allergens from becoming airborne, minimizing the level of allergens in the breathing zone. This translates to lower exposure potential. The allergens held by carpet’s filter-like effect may be removed by vacuuming, refreshing the filter-like properties of the carpet to allow more material to be removed from the air. Vacuuming mattresses, carpet, and upholstery once or twice a week removed allergens, including dust mite feces-a known source of allergen. It is important to use the proper type of vacuum to minimize re-suspending allergens.
Visit CRI’s web site to learn about the Green Label Vacuum Cleaner IAQ Testing Program that approves vacuum cleaner models that are most effective in soil removal and dust containment, while keeping carpet looking good.
Myth No. 5: “Carpet is more expensive and harder to maintain than hard- floor surfaces.”
Truth: Properly maintained carpet only needs vacuuming once or twice weekly and periodic cleaning. The sweeping, mopping, stripping, waxing, and buffing that hard surface floors demand are more laborious and costly.
Myth No. 6: “Latex in carpet produces allergic reactions.”
Truth: The latex that holds the fibers and backing together in broadloom carpet is synthetic. Synthetic latex is not associated with the allergic reactions of natural latex, which are caused by the proteins found in natural latex.
Myth No.7: “Formaldehyde is used in the production of new carpet.”
Truth: Formaldehyde is not used in the carpet manufacturing process. It is not emitted from new carpet.
Contact the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) at 800 882 8846 or visit the web sites at www.carpet-rug.com and www.carpet-schools.com for extensive information about carpet and rugs.
You can also contact us at (904) 642-0706, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions about how carpet affects indoor air quality.
Call A&C Carpet Cleaning to setup an appointment for your carpet cleaning.