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Carpet Outgassing Strategies
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Carpet Outgassing and Your Lungs

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Green Living Detoxification Unit

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This is part five of an article on nontoxic living. It will be helpful to start at the beginning, if you have reached this page directly from a search engine search or a eco-friendly link.

Part one: Starting to detox the home.

Do your eyes water and your nose burn when getting in a new car or walking into a room with new carpet? There is a toxic reason for that. Carpet outgassing creates a serious health situation, particularly with infants. Children love to crawl around on the floor and may particularly love sleeping on soft carpet. If the carpet is outgassing toxic chemicals into the air, your baby is definitely at risk in the home. Learn more about carpet outgassing and green living alternatives for making your living space a healthy place to breathe.

About Toxic Carpet Outgassing

I personally have never liked carpet at all in a home. Previous dwellings already had carpet in two rooms and I left it at that. I would never add carpet. I prefer to not even have those big area rugs because I have allergic reactions to those as well so I assume the dyes or solvents are outgassing.

The good thing about my previous dwelling was that it was over 20 years old. That's why I didn't worry about the carpet much, as far as outgassing goes though carpet will always be a hospitable environment for dust mites and other allergens. Carpet never felt good to me, even before I knew that carpets harbor dust mites and that they can outgas for years. It was always as if my lungs rebelled as soon as I walked in a place with carpet. Whenever I entered a space that had new carpet, I'd simply have to leave.

Have you ever walked in a mobile home or house with brand new carpeting? They're the worst. Did your eyes burn? Did your nose sting? Those reactions are your body's way of telling you that you have just entered a toxic environment. In addition to the probability that the paneling is outgassing formaldehyde, those symptoms are an indication that the new carpet was outgassing fumes into the air which were irritating to your eyes. If those fumes irritated your eyes and nose, you can bet your lungs don't like them either! I have never walked in a new dwelling without that happening. I'd love to enter a completely green home one day, to see how much difference I might sense in the indoor air quality.

Talk to carpet layers about toxicity:
If you don't believe carpets are toxic, ask a seasoned carpet layer. Did you know that insurance companies are often reluctant to even give a policy to a carpet layer? I read, in one report, about a man who had been laying carpet for a number of years. He says he's very concerned about lung cancer because so many of the carpet layers he started out with have died from it.

If you are considering buying new carpet, you can do a lot to keep yourself and your family safe by investigating the options for detoxing your home. First, you can specifically ask for low VOC carpets and also inquire about the adhesives used to put the carpet down, as these should be low VOC as well. In addition, AFM Safecoat makes a carpet sealer that prevents outgassing.

Conclusion of Detoxing Your Home Series, Part Six: Renewable detox pebbles for addressing carpet outgassing

Health Disclaimer: Some people think green living and healthy are interchangeable. Not necessarily, and particularly for those with chemical sensitivities. Green living means it doesn't harm the environment. If you have chemical sensitivities or acute allergies, check with your doctor to rule out carpet outgassing as a factor, even if your carpet is old or has been sealed or is "green".