Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Dangers of Carpeting

We removed all the carpeting from our house years ago. It was a shocking revelation when the carpet was pulled up and tons of nasty dirt and mold were exposed. Thankfully, getting rid of the carpet made a huge difference in the indoor air quality of our house. (We replaced it with ceramic tile and laminate wood flooring.*)

However, many people I know are still putting new carpeting in their homes, and I cringe every time I hear about it. Old carpeting is bad enough because of all the mold, dust mites, etc. But new carpet is even worse! New carpet contains up to 200 toxic chemicals! These include flame retardants, pesticides, formaldehyde, and a host of other chemicals that are KNOWN to cause cancer, respiratory illness, damage to the immune system, and much more. 

Here's an excellent article that details some of these specific chemicals and the harm they cause. It also explains about the dangers of old carpeting and gives helpful info for what you can do. 

Please take the dangers of carpeting seriously, and please pass this information on to others who may have no idea. Let's protect our health and be considerate of each other. 

*I could write a whole post on healthy flooring options, but here's just a quick overview:

Ceramic tile is probably the healthiest flooring option, just be sure to use a non-toxic grout. 

Hardwood floors can also be good, if you do the research and get quality wood that hasn't been treated with pesticides or chemical stains, etc. 

Laminate wood flooring does have some chemicals, so it's important to search for the kind that is low in VOC's and formaldehyde emission. (This website lists the "safe" levels to check for in laminate products.) Laminate flooring thankfully off-gasses quicker than carpet (which can still be putting off chemicals for years). We used laminate flooring that is tongue & groove so there was no need for any toxic adhesives. 

Also, something very important is to never buy any building/home materials made in China. If you wonder why, just do a little research and you'll see that those products are highly toxic and dangerous to your health! 

I hope this helps. =) 

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