The Hazardous Dump Site Hiding in Your Home

The worst source of indoor pollution found in homes today is carpeting. Plush carpets are deep
reservoirs in which toxic compounds, allergens, and dangerous bacteria dwell. According to one
paper in Applied Microbiology, one square foot of carpet can contain millions of dust mites,
mold spores, and micro-organisms that regular vacuuming cannot eliminate.

New carpets out gas volatile organic chemicals or, VOCs such as 4 -PC which give new carpets their new carpet odor. It is actually a by-product of latex used in the backing of many carpets. Other VOCs in carpeting include toluene, formaldehyde, acetone, dyes, and benzines while derivatives containing VOCs are, resistant coatings for stains, fire, mildew, fungus and pesticides.

We would consider outdoor dump sites containing the same chemicals at the same psi hazardous sites and fight for their removal, yet many home owners who have carpeting are exposed to the same environment indoors without even knowing it… Pesticides cannot break down when contained indoors and can last for years.

They continue to build up as carpet cleaning products, carpet fresheners, and spot removers are used to keep them clean. Add dirt, mold, and bacteria that build at the bottom of carpeting where vacuuming and cleaning can’t reach and you have your very own toxic dump site.

Exposure to VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, liver damage, loss of co-ordination, and damage to the central nervous system. VOCs are also known to cause cancer in animals and are suspected to cause cancer in humans.

While removal of all carpeting is the most effective means in improving home air quality, if you must use carpets there are a few things you can do:

  1. Roll out carpet and allow it to outgas outside before installation or ask your installer if they can lay it out in the warehouse for a few days before installation.
  2. Tack down carpets rather than using glue if possible to eliminate toxins from adhesives.
  3. Leave fans running and windows open for a few days after installation.
  4. Vacuum regularly and deep clean carpets at least once a year.
  5. Keep your carpet dry to discourage mould and mildew.
  6. Use ultrafine Hepa filter vacuum bags and vacuum as often as possible.

Even moderate alterations in one’s choices can play a significant role in the reduction of carpet pollution and understanding indoor toxins and their affects on our health can provide a safer, cleaner environment for your family.

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  1. Wow – No wonder I have allergy problems.

  2. Isn’t it terrible we have to breath in these toxins? I wish it were possible to have all wood floors, and I would if I didn’t live in an apartment.

  3. I always wondered about new carpet odors and all the ‘gunk’ that accumulates in it. Yuk! It seems there is just no way getting away from all the toxins. You have some good ideas here to live with our carpet and help remove and eliminate some of the impurities. Thanks, good information.

  4. Very useful information, thanks.

  5. Thanks for the information. I didn’t realize carpets had such pollution.

  6. Great job on your article. I do a lot of these tips with my carpets.

  7. I took out some of my carpet because of my allergies. In the winter, I need some in my room. I was thinking about steam cleaner. Thanks for the info and great article.

  8. great tips – I only have carpet in my bedroom and study now. angel x

  9. So my wife was right! Sure glad our Victorian has all hardwood floors! Thanks so much for the info about Candlelight. I just sent them “I Love You” as I believe that one needs to be shouted from all rooftops. Thanks so much! Do you know about editred.com?
    Check it out, I’ve joined.

  10. I always suspected carpeting to be dangerous to one’s health, but you have confirmed it. What does one use to cushion these old joints? I work on cement all day and it is rough on my knees and feet.

    Very well written article. Thank you.

  11. This is a wise, well written, important article. There are many things that people do not realize and such important articles as this one will help opens millions of peoples’ eyes to the true realities in life. This article will help people live happier, healthier lives. Blessings to you.

    Sincerely,

    -Liane Schmidt.

  12. Thank you, Liane for your kind comment.

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