How New Carpeting Can Make You Sick

“New” can be a wonderful scent.  A new car with leather interior, a fresh coat of paint, new wood furniture…often, there’s nothing quite like it.

And yet some new household odors aren’t nearly as inviting. For many people throughout the East Valley, that includes the scent from new carpeting and carpet padding.

That familiar odor can last for weeks or months following installation, one that usually is caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and other air pollutants that are used in the manufacturing process.

Those emissions are also known as “off-gassing.” It’s a serious health hazard that can trigger asthma and other allergic reactions. These chemicals are neurotoxins as well as allergens. Since 1993, the carpet industry has required carpet manufacturers to label their products  with a health advisory warning that “some people experience allergic or flu-like symptoms, headaches, or respiratory problems, which are associated with the installation, cleaning or removal of carpeting.”

So, to help eliminate or minimize the potential effects of off gassing in your home, we present the following helpful tips:

  • Look for the green label for proof that product meets industry standards.
  • Ask the installer to air out the new carpet for a day or two before installation.
  • Leave windows open and a fan going for a few days after it’s installed.
  • Make sure the installer seals seams with non-toxic adhesive. Glue is another potential source of indoor air pollution.
  • Vacuum frequently and deep clean annually to avoid triggering other allergic reactions.

At Optimum Air, we are indoor air quality specialists who can do a great deal to clean up the air in your home. For more information or a free in-home comfort analysis and proposal, contact us today.