Buying and Installing New Carpet Tips Buying and Installing New Carpet Tips

Here are some practical steps to consider before purchasing and installing new carpet:

Talk to the Carpet Retailer/Installer

  • Ask about the carpet industry's voluntary "green label" program for new carpet. According to the carpet Industry, the label tells consumers that this carpet type has been tested and passed emissions criteria. The label, however, is not a guarantee that the carpet will not cause health problems. A toll-free phone number is available on the label for updated information on the industry's program.
  • Ask the retailer to unroll and air out the carpet in a well-ventilated area before installation.
  • Ask for low-emitting adhesives if adhesives are needed.
  • Make sure the installer follows industry installation guidelines(Residential Carpet Installation Standard, CRI-105)


Ventilate Area with Fresh Air

This will help reduce chemicals coming from carpet installation.

  • Open doors and windows. Increasing the amount of fresh air In the home will reduce exposure to most chemicals released from carpet. During and after installation, use window fans and room air conditioners to exhaust fumes to the outdoors. If you have a ventilation system, be sure it is in proper working order. Operate it during installation, and keep it running for 48 to 72 hours after the new carpet is installed.
Why it's important to ventilate area after installing a new carpet...

Since 1988, the U.S. Consumer Product Satety Commission (CPSC) received over 500 complaints associated with new carpet installation. CPSC evaluated many of these complaints. The most frequently-reported symptoms were watery eyes, runny nose, burning sensation in the eyes, nose and throat, headaches, rashes, and fatigue. CPSC is currently investigating the relationship between the carpets and the reported health problems.

The complaints led CPSC to study what chemicals come from carpet and whether those chemicals could cause the health problems that consumers reported. CPSC collected carpet samples directly from the production line. Laboratory work was performed to determine the types and quantities of chemicals released from carpet cushions used under the carpet.

The Commission does not currently have evidence that specific chemical emissions coming from carpet are responsible for the health complaints associated with carpet installation. There have been reports that mice exposed to air passed over carpets showed severe health problems and, in some cases, died. At this time the cause of these health problems and the implication of these findings for human health are not known. Studies to determine the significance of these reports are in progress.


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