Could Your Carpet Actually Be Harmful?

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Many American homes contain carpeting, in fact, more than half of the homes in America contain carpet somewhere in the home. It makes us feel cozy in the winter months, it encourages play for our kids, and it can give our pets endless bed options. But is our carpet safe?
In recent years, it’s come to our attention that carpet, for a number of reasons, might not be all it’s cracked up to be. This is, unfortunately, not only the case for older carpet, newer carpeting has its own list of issues. Carpeting can contain:

  • Pesticides
  • Dust Mites
  • Chemicals
  • Bacteria
  • Other Toxins

It’s time to ask yourself an important question: is your carpet doing irreparable damage to your health or the health of your family? But what can you do about it? There are ways to help and even completely change this problem in your home.

New Carpet

It’s easy to believe that because the carpet is brand new, it is not harmful to your health. However, that’s simply not true. Because of the way that carpet is chemically treated when it’s made, it seems that carpet owners are doomed from the beginning. Carpet is treated with many chemicals for the purpose of stain protectants, moth repellants, and fire retardants. These chemicals, some of which have been placed on the EPA’s list of Extremely Hazardous Substances, can include:

  • Toluene
  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Ethylbenzene
  • Styrene
  • Acetone
  • Many more

Certain combinations of these chemicals have been found to cause respiratory, optical, and allergy-related illnesses in people and have even produced fatal abnormalities in animals during testing. All of this to say, simply because carpeting is new doesn’t mean that it isn’t potentially harmful.

Older Carpet

Older carpet, of course, presents an even bigger issue than newer carpet. Not only does our aged carpet contain the same or worse chemical cocktail, it has held onto years of junk.

  • Dust and Dust Mites – Even if our carpet had just existed without being walked on, it still would have accumulated dust and dust mites. Over the course of its life, carpet can accumulate 8 times its weight in dust and other things. This accumulation of dust can also cause serious health issues in people. Imagine never really being able to rid your home of dust. If you have old carpet, that might be the case for you.
  • Bacteria – With flooring such as hardwood and tile, we are able to clean and sanitize on a regular basis but that’s simply not the case with carpet. When bacteria is festering, there is no real way to completely sanitize your carpet because carpet tends to absorb and never let go. That means that everything that’s ever been spilled or leaked onto our carpet, at least to some degree, stays with it for life.
  • Pesticides/Carcinogens – Along with the other issues of having older carpet, there can also be loads of pesticides and carcinogens that are tracked in on the bottoms of our shoes and our pet’s paws. I can’t stress enough that even with weekly cleanings, these agents may never completely leave your carpet.

The older your carpet is, the more of these allergens and toxins it has taken on, and additionally, shag and thicker carpets are holding much more than the thinner carpets. But thick or thin, your carpet is full of stuff you don’t want in your home. Simply put, as your carpet ages, it can become more and more harmful to your health.

Solutions

Now that you’re scared half to death and are wondering what to do, let’s give you a few ideas to improve your situation.

  • Vacuum weekly or more with a vacuum containing a HEPA filter – This will help tremendously with the dust and dust mites in your carpet.
  • Discourage the use of shoes on the carpet – This will prevent the further tracking in of harmful element.
  • Get the carpets cleaned as often as possible – This won’t completely fix your problem, but it will help.
  • Get rid of that nasty carpet – This is absolutely, the best option for you to take. Consider switching out our carpet for some beautiful wood floors or tile.

Now that the truth is out there, it’s time to do something about your nasty carpet. Whether that means trying harder to avoid exposing it to outdoor toxins or replacing it completely, you have options for fixing this issue. If you’ve been wondering about making the switch to hardwood floors, talk to our experts here in Plano. Call our experts and get a free estimate today!

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