Are carpets unhealthy?

TODAY, we look at a question we’re asked here at AOM all the time: Are carpets unhealthy?

Well, the short answer is: it depends.

Modern day carpets, in all their plush and stain-resistant glory, are wonders of technology and help make our homes and workplaces more comfortable.

But the typical carpet, made from petroleum-based synthetic fibers, contains dozens of chemicals and gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other potential toxins. These can compromise indoor air quality for years on end, and cause dangerous reactions to those who are particularly sensitive to contaminants in the air. These include infants and the elderly.

To avoid these carpets, you can opt for all-natural carpets, including ones made from sisal, coir and seagrass. These all-natural materials tend to be harder than traditional carpeting and as such might take some getting used to underfoot.

Of course, keeping tidy is also key to a healthy indoor environment. Frequent vacuuming of rugs and cleaning of flooring can help reduce exposure to toxins like lead and pesticides that can be tracked in from outside. Using doormats and removing shoes when coming inside can also help mitigate such risks.

Hope this helps!

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