Air Quality Life

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Is your carpet an air purifier?

You probably already know that carpet traps and holds just about anything bad in the air where you live, work and play.

So it might surprise you to hear the advice in a press release this week by a carpet dealer in Canada. Carpets are good for indoor air quality, the release says. And the mutual attraction between carpets and dust, dander, pollen, and pollution particles is a good thing too.

“You can prevent particles and allergens from re-entering the air by trapping them in your carpet,” the release says.

That’s a note also sounded by the industry-sponsored Carpet and Rug Institute, which proclaims on its website: “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.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in its site for school indoor air quality, cautions that carpet “acts as a reservoir for dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores, pesticides, and other materials. However, the EPA concedes that meticulous maintenance of carpet with a vacuum cleaner with high-performance filtration and also periodic wet extraction cleaning will remove the allergens and other bad stuff trapped in carpet.

But, for asthma and allergy sufferers, other flooring options offer much better choices than carpet, says Allergic Living magazine in its Summer 2011 issue.

The magazine spoke to “Green from the Ground Up” author David Johnston, who told the magazine, “Carpet and healthy houses are sorts of an oxymoron. You don’t want to use those two in the same sentence.” Formaldehyde-free laminates, hardwood, and tile flooring are the best choices for asthma and allergy sufferers, says Johnston.

Of course, IQAir would agree with the American Lung Association that regardless of which flooring option you choose or live within your home, a high-performance HEPA air-filtration system (such as the IQAir HyperHEPA air filtration system) will help you breathe more easily with any flooring option.

Air Quality Life is brought to you by The IQAir Group, the world’s leading innovator of Indoor Air Quality solutions since 1963. This online publication is designed to educate and inform the public about the latest research and news affecting indoor and outdoor air quality.

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