Safe Carpet Installation
Most experts of indoor air pollution agree that carpet should be avoided whenever feasible. The reason for this is that carpet is made up of some 120 different chemicals, many of which can cause health problems, and that once installed, carpet can collect dust and even lead (tracked in from shoes), and grow mold and dust mites. That being said, there are ways to reduce your exposure to the chemicals of the carpet and its installation.
Avoid carpeting with PVC or styrene-butadiene rubber backing, and rubber carpet pads. Camel hair and wool needled (not glued) carpet pads are far safer and hold up very well. Finally, do the job in the summer when the house can be aired out frequently, and ask the carpet installer to air the carpet out in the warehouse for at least three days–the longer the better–before putting it in the house.
If you are concerned that the carpet itself might be toxic, read about AFM Safecoat sealants.
By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).