Carpet is a popular flooring choice for many households. It creates a soft, cozy, and inviting atmosphere, so we completely understand the appeal. However, what most people may not know is that carpet can be causing you and your family member, health issues, namely respiratory issues. Because of the way it’s manufactured, its natural tendency to collect dust, bacteria, and other allergens, as well as being an ideal environment for mold to thrive, carpet flooring can wreak havoc on the air quality in your home. Below we will discuss three major health reasons to switch your carpet flooring, ASAP.
- Toxic Chemicals
We’re all familiar with “new carpet smell”. Most of us probably associate that smell with cleanliness. While new carpet may technically be clean, it’s full of toxic chemicals resulting from the manufacturing process. Carpet is manufactured from synthetic materials that contain toxins— such as dyes, plastic fibers, stain and fire resisters, etc. When new carpet is installed, these chemicals are released as Volatile Organic Compounds into the air. Some are known to be harmful, and have even been linked to cancer.
- Air Pollution
Carpet traps dirt, bacteria, mold spores, dust, pollen, and other pollutants and allergens. Toxic gases then cling to these small particles that settle into the carpet fibers. These particles can become airborne during activities like vacuuming, walking, renovations, etc. Children are more likely to be exposed to these pollutants because they spend time playing on the floor and often place their hands into their mouths after doing so. While you can remove pollutants, toxins, and allergens by deep cleaning carpet flooring, if a large area is covered, it’s significantly harder to remove all indoor air pollutants, toxins, and allergens.
- Mold, Bacteria, and Viruses
Since carpet fibers trap moisture, it creates a perfect spot for biological pollutants like mold to grow. This is especially true in rooms such as bathrooms or other areas exposed to high levels of moisture. But even without obvious moisture sources, there have been studies showing that seemingly dry carpet can harbor mold and other types of fungi. Exposure to mold is a known source of allergies and can contribute to asthma symptoms.
In addition to mold, carpet flooring also traps and collects bacteria and viruses. Think about it, you’re walking around all day collecting hundreds of biological agents from all the places you visit i.e. the street, bathroom, restaurants, office buildings, doctor’s offices, grocery stores, etc. When you come home and walk on your carpet with your shoes, you are transferring these biological agents onto your carpet. According to Phillip Tierno, director of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, NYU, your carpet could contain up to 200,000 per square inch, making it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat. He also states that hundreds of thousands of microscopic species live in your carpet such as E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, and more. These types of bacteria can cause dangerous viruses.
Safer Flooring Options
Instead of carpet flooring, opt for a safer choice like hard-surfaced flooring. There are many options such as tile, laminate, vinyl planks, and engineered wood. Since these types of flooring are not composed of porous fibers that attract and trap pollutants, mold, and other allergens, they make for a much more healthy flooring solution. In addition, hard-surfaced flooring is a lot easier to keep clean on a regular basis! It’s a win, win.
You can see our catalog of hard-surfaced flooring options here, or contact us today to discuss an installation or to answer any questions you may have. We are happy to help you find the perfect home flooring solution!