Is it correct that anything with the CRI Plus label does not contain latex? I have a latex allergy and want to replace carpet and furniture.

Asked by Karen Childs
Houston, TX

I am looking for stores in Houston that carry area rugs and furniture with the CRI Plus label. I removed all the carpet and furniture in my house after I developed a severe latex allergy.


Susan Davis

Answered by Susan Davis

Mountain View, CA

Spectrum Fine Homes, Inc.

September 1, 2010

It's great that you are looking for products with certifications like CRI Green Label Plus.  

Some people who have an allergy to natural latex can feel confident in choosing a CRI Green Label Plus certified product.

  • People who are allergic to latex are allergic to the protein enzymes in natural latex.
  • Latex that is used on CRI Green Label Plus carpet and padding is a synthetic latex that doesn’t have these protein enzymes.

Regarding CRI Green Label Plus, many people don't realize that certification processes like Green Label Plus are the consumer's best way of assuring that products conform to strict environmental standards. The problem is, though, that there are many levels and types of standards, as well as quality of certification systems, and we might not always understand just what environmental concern is addressed.

  • The CRI Green Label program is the carpet industry's most widely recognized test protocol for evaluating total volatile organic compound (TVOC) emissions for carpet, carpet padding, and adhesives.
  • When you see the CRI Green Product Label you know that the manufacturer voluntarily participates in the certification program. Each manufacturer has an assigned number on the label.
  • You will know that the manufacturer is committed to developing ways to minimize any adverse effects on indoor air quality.
  • You will know that a representative sample of the CRI Green Label product type has been tested by an independent (third-party) laboratory and meets the established requirements.

The CRI Indoor Air Quality Green Label Plus program is a 14-day test that follows the test protocol Section 01350 of the California High Performance Schools (CHPS) Protocol. The Green Label Plus program measures TVOC emissions as well as setting a maximum concentration level for a number of "Chemicals of Concern" as defined by the State of California's OSHA Proposition 65.

The Green Label Plus test protocol goes beyond the requirements of Section 01350 to test emissions of six additional chemicals.

Now to address specific product recommendations, whether you live in Houston, New York, California, or really anywhere in the world. The company that gets my vote for the most holistic sustainable focus -- not just producing product that is low VOC, but addressing sustainability on every level possible -- is Interface Global.

I hope everyone takes the time to visit this website and read the books written by the Founder and Chairman, Ray Anderson. The impact that Interface Global has made on the carpet industry, as well as the sustainability movement, is incredible, and we should all have Ray Anderson as our mentor and Interface Global as our model of a true sustainable business.

Interface Global produces Flor and Bentley Prince Street for residential use.  Flor is a "carpet tile" that comes complete with its own backing, which eliminates the need for a separate carpet pad.

  • It is really easy to install, and the beauty of it is that a single tile can be removed to wash with environmentally safe soap/cleaner in your bathtub, and then reinstalled.
  • If it's too damaged to reinstall, you can order a new square and ship back the damaged material, and the manufacturer will recycle it into new product.
  • There are loads of texture and color selections of this product, and some are made of natural or recycled materials.
  • You can purchase the product online, and can order samples, too, if you don't have a local retail supplier in your area.

Bentley Prince Street is Interface's product which is guided by the Mission Zero commitment of the company.

  • Bentley Prince Street is a collection of carpet tile and broadloom area rugs manufactured in Southern California.
  • Interface’s dedication to sustainability has evolved into Mission Zero -- a commitment to eliminate any negative impact on the environment by 2020.
  • It is definitely worth your time to read about Mission Zero and Interface's journey, and to support it by using these low VOC carpet products.

For more information:

Read William Janhonen's Q&A "I want low VOC carpet to replace my old carpeting. What are the best -- and least toxic -- conventional choices?"

Tagged In: home air quality, green carpet

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