Indoor Air Quality, Allergies & Flooring

Get ready for a shocker!

by Chris Moline, LEED AP
Darn, I blew it right off the bat.
Now you’re going to know something out-of-the-ordinary is about to come when I ask the question – Which floor type is better for people with allergies… carpet or hard-surface?
Well, a study by the German Allergy and Asthma Society appears to prove that levels of airborne fine dust are reduced (in places dramatically) by the use of carpeting.
In fact, according to the study, the average fine-dust concentration in hard-surfaced rooms is twice as high as in wall-to-wall carpeted rooms.
Hooey, you say? Me, too, until I dug deeper.
Because that’s when the engineers spelled it out. Carpet, apparently, binds dust in the fibers and backing, trapping it and preventing re-release into the air.
From my early years in the business I can attest to the fact that every time I pulled up carpet, I could see the dust fly… dust that would normally have remained on top of a hard-surface floor to be re-released into the air by foot traffic or the opening of a door.
“…the average fine-dust concentration in
hard-surfaced rooms is twice as high as in
wall-to-wall carpeted rooms.”

And that’s not accounting for the “filtration” effect evidenced by the presence of very-fine dust particles on the subfloor that had migrated through the carpet backing and pad.
I’m still a bit hesitant to completely say “amen”, but it really does make sense.
The study, or at least what portion of mind-numbing statistcs I’d read, didn’t mention IAQ in regards to VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and off-gassing. No one will ever convince me that vinyl is a healthy floor for someone with chemical sensitivities, but that’s another story.
I’ve told you what’s on my mind, now let me know what you think!
We have a complete section of our showroom dedicated to “green” flooring I’m sure you would find interesting. In fact, we have natural, undyed wool carpet with natural latex and jute backing, along with cork, bamboo, marmoleum… and that’s just the beginning!

Chris Moline, LEED AP

Not allergic to my dog!

Not ashamed to be a tree-hugger!

One response to “Indoor Air Quality, Allergies & Flooring

  1. great information nice job!

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