Article Title: The 10 Myths About Carpet
Article Source: The Carpet and Rug Institute

Myth No. 1 "There are health risks associated with carpet."

Truth: An extensive toxicological assessment of components of carpet concluded that the chemicals in carpet pose no health risks of public concern.

Myth No. 2 "Mold and mildew can grow in carpet."

Truth: Mold and mildew exist ONLY where there is excess moisture and dirt coupled with poor cleaning and maintenance habits. Mold growth can occur on any surface—from windowpanes to carpet—that is not properly maintained and when moisture is extreme. Eliminating sources of excessive moisture, such as water leaks, and controlling humidity greatly offset the potential for mold to grow.

Myth No. 3 "Carpet is a cause of the asthma and allergy increase."

Truth: Comparison data from Sweden supports that there is no link between carpet usage and the incidence of asthma or allergies. The Carpet & Rug Institue is not aware of any published scientific research demonstrating a link between carpet and asthma or allergies.

Myth No. 4 "Carpet is a sink for allergy-causing substances."

Truth: This is true as stated. The critical point, however, is often missed. Carpet holds allergen-causing substances tightly and, as a result, keeps allergens from becoming airborne, minimizing the level of allergens in the breathing zone. Vacuuming mattresses, carpet, and upholstery once or twice a week removed allergens, including dust mite feces—a known source of allergen. It is important to use the proper type of vacuum to minimize re-suspending allergens.

Myth No. 5 "Carpet is a source of indoor air quality (IAQ) problems."

Truth: As noted previously, an extensive toxicological assessment of components of, and emissions from, carpet concluded that the chemicals in carpet "present no health risks of public health concern." Further, allergens in carpet may be removed by vacuuming. Vacuum cleaner machines bearing the CRI IAQ Green Label meet scientifically

Myth No. 6: "Carpet is more expensive and harder to maintain than hard-floor surfaces."

Truth: Properly maintained carpet only needs vacuuming once or twice weekly and periodic extraction cleaning. The sweeping, mopping, stripping, waxing, and buffing that hard surface floors demand are more laborious and costly. A Building Office Managers Association (BOMA) study found hard-surface floors require two-and-a-half times more annual cleaning than carpet.

Myth No. 7: "Carpet is environmentally non-sustainable."

Truth: CRI member companies, representing over 90 percent of the industry’s manufacturers, have an excellent track record over the last dozen years of decreasing wastes produced and energy consumed, improving the industry’s sustainability.

Myth No. 8: "Carpet is a major emitter of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)."

Truth: Most new interior furnishings and building materials emit VOCs for a period of time. Emissions from new carpet are among the lowest of any household’s indoor furnishings, and most VOCs dissipate within 24 hours—even faster with good ventilation. To further minimize other IAQ concerns, specify low-emitting products, including CRI Green Label carpet, cushion, and adhesive, when selecting household products and furnishings.

Myth No. 9: "Formaldehyde is used in the production of new carpet."

Truth: Formaldehyde is not used in the carpet manufacturing process. It is not emitted from new carpet.

Myth No. 10: "Latex in carpet produces allergic reactions."

Truth: The latex that holds the fibers and backing together in broadloom carpet is synthetic. Synthetic latex is not associated with the allergic reactions of natural latex, which are caused by the proteins found in natural latex. Carpet is made primarily of the same innocuous materials found in clothing and other everyday fabrics, including polyester and nylon.

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