INDOOR AIR QUALITY (IAQ)
In recent years. A great deal of consumer interest and concern has been expressed about indoor air quality (IAQ). Of specific concern are the emissions produced by new products and furnishings, both in the home and workplace.
WHAT ARE VOC’S?
It is common and normal for materials around the house to give off emissions known as “VOC’S” (volatile organic compounds) and carpet is a known source along with other new materials used in construction, renovation and decorating. Paint, wallpaper, paneling, other floor coverings, furniture, window treatments, adhesives, caulk, etc. may each produce varying levels of VOC’s. One of the great ironies about the current debate is that under certain circumstances, these same type of emissions are considered desirable to enhance a feeling of “newness”. A perfect example is the smell of a new car which is partially VOC’S from the carpet.
HOW IS AIR QUALITY RESTORED AFTER NEW CARPET IS INSTALLED?
In most cases, carpet related odors are minimal and generally people are not affected in any way. Some people show a more heightened sensitivity to these emissions than others and complaints may range from an unpleasant odor to more physical effects such as headaches or sinus irritations but extremes of this nature are very rare. The latex in the construction of the carpet backing is the main source of VOC’S in the carpet itself, but the most offensive emissions are from adhesives used when the carpet is glued down. To minimize this condition, ask that newer, low VOC adhesives be utilized in your home. If you do detect an odor in your new carpet installation, the Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that the rooms be well ventilated for 48 to 72 hours. This includes the use of open windows, fans, heating systems or air conditioning as appropriate methods. Procedures that exhaust emissions to the outdoors are the most effective. In most cases where an odor is detected, there is a dramatic reduction in the first 24 hours.