Question

Are olefin and polypropylene nontoxic safe fibers for people with chemical sensitivities?

Asked by Jeanette Wingate
Delaware, OH

Since we have dogs, we don't want to use wool area rugs over newly installed laminate flooring. Also, we are very concerned about outgassing of chemicals. Could you please tell me if olefin (rugs made in U.S.) and polypropylene (also made in U.S.) are nontoxic safe fibers for people with chemical sensitivities? (These are available from L.L. Bean.) Wall-to-wall carpeting installation caused a severe respiratory reaction. Thank you for your assistance.

Answer

Jeanette,

All synthetic carpets contain a certain amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which account for that "new carpet" smell that may cause health problems for the chemically sensitive.

Also, virtually all synthetic carpets are backed with a latex mix containing styrene, a possible human carcinogen.

A great option especially if you have pets would be modular floor tiles from FLOR. FLOR offers low-VOC nylon and wool modular floor tiles, with backing made of some recycled materials; the company also recycles its old floor tiles.

FLOR tiles meet Green Label Plus certification for indoor air quality and can easily be recycled after use.

For more information:

Check David Rodriguez's picks in "I need to find low-toxic carpet for my rental apartment. What are some reliable brands?"

Tagged In: home air quality, green carpet, chemically sensitive

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