Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Carpet Alleviates Allergies

corrie sneezes originally uploaded by noisia.

Carpet does not contribute to allergies

That's right. Contrary to popular belief, rather than contribute to allergies, carpet alleviates allergies.

And there's proof. Lots of it.

In fact, the Carpet and Rug Institute has created the Carpet-Health site to address the misconceptions surrounding carpet and health.
I was particularly interested in the asthma/allergy section. It includes plenty of information to put your mind at ease. Did you know that the benefit of carpet for Allergies and Asthma is that carpet acts as a trap for airborne particles grounded through natural gravity. In other words, carpet snares all of those allergens that you find in a house allowing you to vacuum them up easily.

Hard surface, on the other hand, encourages the circulation of those irritants.

If you don't believe me, go to a house with pets. Pets shed, right? Well, watch what happens to those dust bunnies that furry critters contribute to. On a hard surface, the dust bunnies float around, playing chase with you as you try to round them up. On a carpeted surface, they go to ground; no problem grabbing them.

Now, what got me going on this subject is a recent study conducted by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification [IICRC] which they called the "You'd Be Floored" survey. No surprise, the Survey Suggests U.S. Homeowners Relate Health of Family to Cleanliness of Flooring. More precisely, 81% of US homeowners "feel that their family's health is directly related to the cleanliness of their floors."

What does come as a surprise is that "75 percent of respondents perceive carpet to be the least effective type of flooring in minimizing conditions that aggravate allergies."

How distressing!

Jeff Bishop, IICRC technical advisor, protests: “... scientific studies demonstrate that just the opposite is true: carpet actually traps airborne allergens that can easily be vacuumed out, whereas wood flooring allows irritants to be stirred up by normal traffic or sweeping and released into the breathing zone. Airborne dust, not carpet, is the culprit that triggers allergies.” 

In my house, we have carpet. We also have allergies [especially my husband]. I can assure you that our carpet in no way contributes to allergic reactions.

So, if you have allergies, please consider carpet. You won't regret it!

P.S.: I originally became aware of the survey through FCW's 01/7-14/2008 article by Kim Gavin titled "Survey: Consumers tie cleanliness to health."

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Anonymous said...

Hello Christine hope everything has been going well. I have also been hearing carpet being blamed for every time some one gets sick in their home and Doctors are so fast at telling them to pull the carpet out. Just two weeks ago I received a call from a person that had pulled out their carpet and put in lamanate 2 years ago and are still having problems and it has gotten worse, I went out started checking things out and found out they had a small leak in a pipe that came out of the water heater and only leaked when the water was turned on in the bath area went under wall and under carpet and now lamanate. They spent all this money for no reason, if things would have been checked out right and the right info was given it would have saved the customer lots of money and they could have keep what they realy liked and that is carpet.

Roland Thompson

CB Whittemore said...


Thanks for sharing that great example. Unfortunately, I find that many doctors are quick to make grand statements [usually in a tone that doesn't allow for discussion] about things they don't know enough about.

That person was lucky to have you figure out what the REAL problem was.


Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a retailer and I direct my customers, with these concerns, to the website you mentioned (The Carpet and Rug Institue). Sometimes I would get complaints that immediately after installation occupants of the home would get cold-like symptoms and headaches. They would call blaming it on the formaldehyde or the "carpet glue" in the new carpet. After researching, I discovered that these symptoms are usually caused by dust and dust mites under the carpet and padding. This dust is so fine and silt-like that when old carpet is removed, it kicks it into the air where it can remain floating around for up to a whole day! I now warn my customers before installation day to ventilate the home during installation by turning on their house fan and opening windows. If they tell me of severe allergies, I recommend they stay out of the house for up to 72 hours. This is a recommendation only to head-off any potential complaints. The catalyst for implementing our current plan was a call from a customer stating her dog was at the vet due to the formaldehyde in her new carpet. The vet was the one who told her this, so she tried to make us responsible for payment. I started researching and found a wealth of information on the CRI website. I was able to print it up and give to the customer and the vet, "saving" us from a potentially expensive problem. Thank you for your blog, it is very informative. I will direct people to it also. Belinda in California

CB Whittemore said...

Belinda, thank you for sharing this wonderful story! Isn't it amazing all of the misinformation that gets circulated by vets and doctors? I love you solution, and love even more that you are being successful in educating people.

I wish you a wonderful 2009 and really appreciate that you stopped by and commented.

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