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GreenSpace: Carpeting Presents Complex Health Issues

New Carpet Installation

Story at-a-glance -

  • New carpeting is a primary source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can include highly toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde
  • The largest release of VOCs from new carpeting will occur in the first 72 hours after installation. However, low levels can continue to be emitted for years later (adding to the other VOCs in your home’s air from paints, varnishes, furniture, and other sources)
  • New carpet installation is associated with wheezing and coughing in babies during their first year of life
  • Carpeting, including its backing, adhesives, and padding, is often treated at the factory with toxic flame retardants, stain protectors, and moth repellants
  • Consider carpeting and rugs made from natural materials like wool, which will (typically) not contain flame-retardants or stain-resistant chemicals and will naturally repel insects
  • Make sure you regularly ventilate your home by opening windows on opposite sides of the house so the toxic fumes can be exchanged for outside air.

By Dr. Mercola

Many people covet the “new car smell” that comes of a new car. A similar smell comes along with some new carpeting and is typically a sure sign it is releasing toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into your home’s air.

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