Carpets & Indoor Air Quality
This is a question that is quite polarizing. If you Google "is carpet healthy" you'll get a lot of yes and nos. One of the first entries is from the American Lung Association which states, "if a large area is covered in carpet, it may be very difficult to remove indoor air pollutants and allergens. Chemicals used in some new carpets, carpet pads and adhesives used to install them can harm your health." That certainly isn't a glowing recommendation.
However, carpet manufacturers, retailers and groups such as the Carpet & Rug Institute have done their own research and have found that today's carpet isn't unhealthy at all, especially when properly maintained. In fact, published research shows well-maintained carpet can actually reduce airborne allergens, therefore contributing to a healthier indoor air quality.
Although there have been (and continue to be) negative claims made relating to soft flooring, the reality is that carpet can be a great option for people concerned about health issues and indoor air quality. It traps dust, pollen, pet and insect dander, and when those carpets are cleaned and vacuumed properly it keeps us from breathing in those particles. But what about VOCs, you're asking? As more and more consumers are being made aware of the hazards of volatile organic compounds the demand to produce soft flooring that is eco-friendly and hypoallergenic is getting stronger. New carpets are being created with a focus on protection against mold, mildew and bacteria, are made with biodegradeable materials, latex and VOC free, and even recyclable. Like every other household item, you need to have a regular cleaning cycle. If you vacuum your carpet on a regular basis (once a week is great, twice a week is even better) then it will be able to be part of your quest to provide a healthy home for your family.