Carpet and Asthma – IAQ Myths and Facts

Carpet and Asthma and Allergy – Crucial Knowledge For Health Care Administrators and Facility Managers 
Why? Scientific research and data from independent sources helps professionals and the public make educated flooring choices.  

Issue 
Carpet is perceived as a potential contributor to asthma and allergy. 
What You Should Know 
There is no scientific study linking the rise of allergy and asthma to the use of carpet. Indeed, several studies actually disprove any correlation. 
 

A 15-year Swedish study found no link between carpet usage and the incidence
of allergy or asthma. In fact, even when carpet usage in Sweden decreased by
70 percent, allergy reactions in the general population increased by 30 percent. 
   Carpet may even be helpful to people with asthma: an 18-nation study of nearly
20,000 people found a statistical relationship between carpeted bedrooms and
reduced asthma symptoms and bronchial responsiveness. 
 A possible explanation: carpet acts like a filter, trapping allergens away from the
breathing zone so they can be removed through proper vacuuming and deep
cleaning extraction.

Studies have measured the distribution of airborne dust associated with
normal activities on smooth surfaces and carpeted floors. The findings
show that walking on hard surfaces disturbs more particles, which
become airborne and enter the breathing zone. In contrast, carpeted
surfaces trap more particles so that walking disturbs fewer particles,
resulting in fewer particles in the breathing zone.

For best results removing pollutants trapped in carpet, use CRI Green Label
vacuums and CRI Seal of Approval cleaning products. Details on these
certification and testing programs can be found at carpet-rug.org
 

picture of chris moline, leed ap, green flooring expert in northern virginia and the dc metro area

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