Carpet has always been popular in many homes because of its softness, comfort, warmth and sound dampening. More recently, it has become a top choice for health-conscious homeowners who want to maintain a clean, healthy home. Carpets are a great way to improve air quality by trapping dust, dirt and other allergens. They also help reduce fatigue and stress on feet and legs. When you choose non toxic carpet, look for a low pile material such as hemp or wool which is natural and doesn’t require chemical dyes or coatings. Another good option is FLOR which is made from recycled face fibers and has antimicrobial properties. Try to avoid tufted, high pile or polypropylene fibers which can contain heavy metals such as lead and phthalates. For best results, keep your carpets clean by having them professionally cleaned regularly.

Keeping your carpets clean will also reduce the amount of mold and mildew that can grow in them. These fungi thrive in dark, moist places and can release spores that can trigger allergies. They can cause itchy, watery eyes and noses and even respiratory problems such as bronchitis or asthma attacks. Mold and mildew also release harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can irritate your lungs and skin.

Dirty, contaminated carpets also act as the perfect environment for microscopic pests such as dust mites, which are notorious for their ability to survive in filthy conditions. They, along with pet dander and cockroach allergens, can release toxins that can be breathed in by household members. Additionally, they can also hold on to pollutants such as lead and pesticides that are tracked in from outside. Vacuuming a dirty carpet can cause these pollutants to be released into the air, making them airborne for your family to breathe in.

Studies have shown that a clean, well-maintained carpet can reduce the intensity of sick building syndrome symptoms and improve work performance and concentration. In fact, researchers have found that when carpets are contaminated with pollution, their removal dramatically improved self-reported air quality and productivity.

When choosing non toxic carpet, it’s important to purchase products that are certified as Green Label Plus by the CRI and use a mechanical adhesive instead of a chemical adhesive when installing new flooring. This will eliminate the need for off-gassing chemicals. Other options include purchasing a pre-made area rug that is glued down instead of wall to wall carpeting which is often glued down with adhesives that can off-gas. It’s also a good idea to have your indoor air ventilation system professionally inspected and tested to see how much VOC’s it’s producing. This can be a simple and inexpensive fix to keep your home clean and healthy.