- THE MAGAZINE
Carpet is Good wants to set the record straight. A coalition of carpet manufactures, Carpet is Good wants everyone to know that if properly maintained, carpeting is a healthy, viable flooring choice for nearly any commercial facility.
"Building managers must take responsibility for the maintenance of their facilities and quit blaming indoor air quality problems on carpeting," said Alison Woolford of DuPont Antron, a carpet manufacturer and member of Carpet is Good. "Proper [carpet] maintenance will keep allergens out of the breathing zone."
Although many of the IAQ concerns about carpeting have subsided, some persist and have resulted in rather drastic changes. For instance, Sweden banned the use of carpeting in public schools in the late 1980s. Ten years later, Florida and Vermont were told their carpets were contributing to respiratory problems in children, so carpeting was removed in some schools.
The Truth Surfaces
We now know that not only does carpeting not cause IAQ problems, it helps remove them. Why? Because with carpet, particulates become trapped in the fibers and don't get stirred up - thereby becoming airborne - as can happen with other types of flooring.
Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, proved this in a 2001 study. They determined that "as long as facilities use vacuum cleaners with high-efficiency filtration and keep the carpets clean, carpets can be healthy, safe, and economical floor coverings in most any facility."
Keys to Proper Maintenance
Because it all comes down to proper maintenance, here are some suggestions for keeping carpets clean and healthy and for improving IAQ.