Is Carpet a Healthy Floor Covering Alternative for Your Family?
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Carpet acts like a trap, keeping dust and allergens out of the air we breathe. Simply put, what falls to the carpet (dust, pet dander and many other particulates that we breathe in) tends to stay trapped in the carpet until it is removed through vacuuming or extraction cleaning. Unlike smooth floor surfaces that allow dust and other allergens to re-circulate into the breathing zone, properly maintained carpet actually contributes to improved air quality. Proper maintenance includes regular vacuuming and annual professional cleaning from a company like The Most Recommended Carpet Cleaner in Boulder, CO 80301.
Independent testing has compared the distribution of airborne dust associated with normal activities on hard and soft flooring surfaces. Findings show that walking on hard surfaces disturbs more particles than walking on carpeted surfaces. In contrast, carpeted surfaces trap more particles so that walking disturbs fewer particles, resulting in less dust in the breathing zone of children and adults.
Read how my claims of carpet making your home MORE healthy are supported by the results in the following study:
Cleaning and Foot Traffic Emissions Analysis
Cleaning and Foot Traffic Emissions Analysis
Asbury, G. Cleaning and Foot Traffic Emissions Analysis. Test Number 0072198. Professional Testing Laboratory, Inc., Dalton, GA. unpublished data. 16 pages. May, 2002.
A series of experiments were conducted to determine airborne particulate (ISO Fine Test Dust 12103-1, A2) emissions during a variety of normal activities as a function of floor covering. Results were compared for hard and soft flooring surfaces. Surfaces were uniformly seeded with the standard test dust. Activities tested included: dust mopping a hard surface; vacuuming a standard carpet with a Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label approved vacuum; vacuuming a standard carpet with a non-approved vacuum, walking on a hard surface and walking on a soft surface.
For the dust mopping experiment, the room was allowed to equilibrate (settle) for fourteen minutes. No airborne particles (0.0 micrograms/meter3) were detected. Dust mopping was begun at a walk rate average of 3.8 feet/second. At 30 seconds of dust mopping, the airborne particulate count rose to 46.2 micrograms. At 1 minute the airborne particulate counts increased to 353.9 micrograms/meter3 . The airborne particle counts rose steadily until at 11 minutes of mopping a peak concentration of 2032.9 micrograms/meter3 was detected. The experiment was terminated at 12 minutes due to operator discomfort.
For the non-approved vacuum experiments, the room was allowed to equilibrate for 4 minutes. Airborne particle levels ranged between 0.4 and 0.8 micrograms/meter3. The vacuum was energized in a stationary position over a dust seeded test carpet for 10 minutes. Airborne particle levels increased slowly from 1.0 to 6.3 micrograms/meter3 over the 10 minute period. At this point, the vacuum was mobilized at a rate of 1.8 feet per second. Within ninety seconds, the airborne particle level rose to 463.3 micrograms/meter3. The peak airborne level was reached 30 seconds later at 553.7 micrograms/meter3. (Note: This is 15.6 times the peak level detected with the CRI approved Green Label vacuum tested. See below). Over the remaining 8 minutes of the experiment, the airborne particle levels declined to a final level of 156.1 micrograms/meter3. The vacuum was deenergized and the particle level followed for 4 minutes. At the end of this period, the airborne particle level had fallen to a level of 136.0 micrograms/meter3.
For the CRI Green label approved vacuum experiments, the room was again allowed to equilibrate for 4 minutes. Airborne particle levels ranged between 0.6 and 1.1 micrograms/meter3. The vacuum was energized in a stationary position over a dust seeded test carpet for 10 minutes. Airborne particle levels increased slowly from 0.9 to 8.7 micrograms/meter3. At this point the vacuum was mobilized at a rate of 1.8 feet per second. At 1 minute of operation a peak particle level of 35.4 micrograms/meter3was reached. Over the next 90 seconds, this level declined to 26.2 micrograms/meter3. Over the rest of the 10 minute experiment, the airborne particle levels ranged between 25.9 and 21.9 micrograms/meter3. The vacuum was deenergized and the particle level followed for 4 minutes. At the end of this period, the airborne particle level had fallen to a level of 18.9 micrograms/meter3.
For the walking experiments, a similar protocol was followed. A standard hard surface or carpet was seeded with test dust. The test walker stood quietly for 4 minutes. In both hard and soft surface cases, the airborne particle levels were steady for the entire period at 0.0 micrograms/meter3. On the hard surface floor, the test walker then began walking at a rate of 3.8 feet per second for 18 minutes. At 1 minute, the airborne level had risen to 15.1 micrograms/meter3. At 2 minutes, the level was 91.3 micrograms/meter3. The airborne particle levels rose steadily over course of the entire 18 minute walk. The peak concentration was 943.4 micrograms/meter3 reached at 17 minutes. This level is 8.9 times the peak level seen on a carpeted surface.
For the carpet walking experiment, the airborne particle levels were steady for the entire 4 minute equilibration period at 0.0 micrograms/meter3. When walking began, the particle levels increased to 7.8 micrograms/meter3 at 30 seconds and 14.4 micrograms/meter3 at 1 minute. The rise in particle levels was much more gradual. The peak level of 105.6 micrograms/meter3 was reached at 10 minutes of walking. (Note: this peak level was not exceeded in three replicates of this experiment). The levels then began to decline, so that at the end of the 13 minute walk the airborne particle level was 81 micrograms/meter3. From the Carpet and Rug Institute.
Does this study have you questioning the hype about the DANGERS of carpet and the hysteria resulting in perfectly good carpeting being thrown away in the name of safety and health? The true reality is that a properly maintained carpet makes your carpet MORE healthy for your family than hard flooring does! Just remember to vacuum it consistently and have it professionally cleaned at least on an annual basis by a preferred and dependable company such as The Most Recommended Carpet Cleaner in Boulder, CO 80301.