A friend of mine believes the carpet in her new home is responsible for the start of her child’s allergies. She’s not the only mom concerned about flooring materials and health, or who blames carpet for respiratory problems. While carpet is great for protecting new crawlers and new walkers from bumps and bruises as they explore the world around them, there is plenty of research out there to suggest links between carpet flooring and health issues.
Air quality is the major problem. Carpet emits Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), chemicals that are used in manufacturing and preparing the carpet. Many VOCs are irritants. Some are toxic. Exposure symptoms can include headaches and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Molds and fungi that get trapped in carpet are also potential irritants.
Conscious flooring decisions can go a long way toward improving indoor air quality. If you’re thinking about that new nursery or child’s room, here are three eco-friendly alternatives to consider:
1. Bamboo. Considered a green choice when it comes to flooring. Recyclable, renewable and biodegradable.
2. Cork. Also considered a green flooring choice. Renewable, hypoallergenic and toxic free.
3. Low-VOC carpet. Read the label before you buy to confirm it has been tested by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Indoor Air Quality testing program. Look for the CRI icon imprinted inside a tiny green house, which indicates the product passes the low emissions standard. Also consider wool, cotton, camel’s hair, sisal, hemp or seagrass.
If you’ve picked an eco-friendly flooring alternative for your child’s room, leave a comment and tell us all about it!
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