Many people think that carpet is a great flooring option for their homes because it offers many benefits, including cushioning, warmth and aesthetic appeal. However, most don’t realize that they are also exposing themselves and their families to toxic chemicals and harmful bacteria. It is important to choose a non toxic carpet and to have it regularly cleaned in order to minimize these exposures.

Research has shown that certain volatile organic compounds, released into the air by conventional carpets during normal use and care can cause respiratory problems. These chemicals can also cause irritation to the skin and eyes. They can also be carcinogens and reproductive and developmental toxicants. These toxic chemicals can also impact the health of workers who manufacture and recycle the carpets.

Some of these chemical exposures can result in asthma, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, eye irritation and skin problems. Regular carpet cleaning with Zerorez removes these contaminants from the home, improving overall air quality and reducing the risk of allergies and asthma. It also helps prolong the life of your carpet and prevents the onset of mold and mildew.

Allergens like dust mites, pollen and pet dander get trapped in the fibers of traditional carpets. These allergens are disturbed during vacuuming and other activities and become re-circulated in the home, causing symptoms in those with allergies or sensitivities. Having your carpets regularly deep cleaned by Zerorez removes these particles and significantly decreases the incidence of allergic reactions.

Conventional carpet is made with toxic chemical adhesives, dyes and backings. The synthetic styrene butadiene rubber used on 95% of carpets off gasses styrene and 4-PC, which have both been linked to cancer. Other toxic chemicals include flame retardant chemicals, polyvinyl chloride, urethane, polypropylene, antistatic agents and stain repellents. Many of these are derived from petroleum and release toxic byproducts into the air when they off gas.

There are alternatives to toxic and rugs, but the most popular ones are primarily wool or polyester. Typically, they require toxic dyes and are heavily treated with pesticides during production. They may even be sprayed with fungicides during the weaving process.

Another option is to look for a natural fiber with a low off-gassing rating and no toxins in the manufacturing process. Hemp is an excellent choice, but it does not have a very soft feel and requires a lot of chemical processing before it can be made into carpet.

Look for a line of carpet with a green label or LEED certification. FLOR is a good option, as it is made from 100% recycled face fibers and is modular for easy installation. Other options are Eco-Felt, Earth Weave, Nature’s Carpet Dark Green and FloorEver PetPlus with Microban. Look for a label that looks for PFAS (perfluorinated chemicals) as well. These are the same toxic chemicals found in non-stick cookware and that have been linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems.