Friday, November 2, 2007

Just Say No To Rugs-Danger Under Foot

Danger Under Foot- Say No To Rugs
By Frederick M. Hueston

You just installed brand new wall to wall carpeting in your home or office and you breathe in that new carpet smell. You step on that plush carpet and feel comfortable and happy that you have a fresh, new carpet. What you don't know is that new carpet smell is emitting hazardous chemical vapors in the air which include toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone and the list goes on and on. There is even carcinogenic chemicals such as p-Dichlorobenzene in that fresh new carpet. These are the hazardous chemicals found in new carpet but there are other harmful chemicals that can be found in the adhesive that is used to install them as well as stain protectors, fire retardants etc. The next time you lie on your carpet to watch TV or have your little son or daughter crawling around think about the chemicals you are being exposed too.

Now you're convinced not to buy new carpeting and you decide to keep your old carpet and just have it cleaned instead. The hazards found in old carpet are as bad or worse than new carpet. There are many chemicals that have been banned in carpet production that your old carpet may contain. Dust mites, dirt and who knows what can be found in older carpeting. Do you ever spray your house for bugs? If you do these pesticides will accumulate in your carpet and will be trapped in the fibers. In addition smoke and other odors can become trapped in the fibers. If you have a pet and it has fleas, guess where you'll also find not only the fleas but their eggs as well.

Cleaning your carpet will not eliminate all these harmful chemicals and substances. There is some new research that is linking certain carpet cleaning chemicals to certain diseases such as Kawasaki's disease. There are even some organizations that are linking carpet to allergies, fibromyolgia, etc

These warnings are not just my opinion but many non profit organizations and companies have similar warnings. Here is a brief list of these organizations:

Environment & Human Health Inc. (EHHI)
The Citizens for Safe Carpet
Environmental Access Research NetworkAmerican Lung Association Even the Center for Disease Control(CDC) posts warnings about the use of carpeting, including the fact that carpet can harbor toxic molds(

How do you avoid all these problems. Its simple..remove your carpet and install hard flooring such as stone or ceramic. Marble, granite, limestone or terrazzo make excellent, safe floor. They don't trap hazardous chemicals, nor do they emit any harmful gases. Carpeting will not last forever, however stone flooring will last for over 100 years if properly cared for.

The next time you consider purchasing that new carpet, do some research and check out the additional resources below and you'll be running to the stone store instead of the carpet store.

Additional reading sources

Fred Hueston is the founder of The National Training Center for Stone and Masonry Trades and Stone University. ,

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