The Negative Health Effects of New Carpet Odors

“New” can be a wonderful scent. A new car with leather interior, a fresh coat of paint, new wood furniture – there’s nothing quite like it.

Then again, some household odors, however new they might be, aren’t nearly as inviting. Take new carpet and carpet padding, for example. That familiar smell can last for weeks or months after installation, and usually is caused by the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and other air pollutants that are used in the manufacturing process.

That familiar smell can last for weeks or months after installation, and usually is caused by the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and other air pollutants that are used in the manufacturing process.

Carpet odors are also known as “off gassing” which can trigger asthma and other allergic reactions. That’s from the fire-retardant neurotoxins used in the manufacture of some carpet products, the likes of which can cause fatigue, skin rashes or breathing problems in addition to asthma.
What protection do you, as a consumer have? First and foremost, do your research and always read the labels before making your purchase. Since 1993, for example, the carpet industry has required manufacturers to label carpets with a health advisory warning that reads as follows: “Some people experience allergic or flu-like symptoms, headaches, or respiratory problems, which are associated with the installation, cleaning or removal of carpeting.”

Here’s what else you can do to minimize or eliminate any health risks from new carpeting:

• Ask the installer to air out the new carpet for a day or two before installation.

• Leave windows open and a fan going for a few days, too.

• Make sure the installer seals seams with a non-toxic adhesive. Glue is another potential source of indoor air pollution.

• Vacuum frequently and deep clean annually to avoid triggering other allergic reactions.

At Absolute Air, we are indoor air quality specialists who can help you maintain clean and healthy living environment all year long. Contact us today to learn about our whole-house air filtration solutions or to schedule a free in-home consultation and proposal.