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10 Dangerous Everyday Things in Your Home


7
Chemicals in Carpet
New carpet can give off volatile organic compounds the first couple of days after installation.
New carpet can give off volatile organic compounds the first couple of days after installation.
Amy Ecker/Getty Images

­Indoor carpeting has recently come under greater scrutiny because of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with new carpet installation. Although the popular floor covering isn't inherently dangerous, people have reported health problems associated with it [source: EPA].

The glue and dyes used with carpeting are known to emit VOCs, which can be harmful to one's health in high concentrations [source: Consumer Reports]. But often, the initial VOC emissions will subside after the first few days following installation [source: Consumer Reports].

Scientists are still researching what specific chemicals new carpets may release and whether they are in fact dangerous for the average person [source: EPA]. To alleviate this, the Carpet and Rug Institute in Dalton, Ga., has developed two Green Labels that guarantee lower VOCs, and it continues to test indoor air quality associated with carpets.

To be on the safe side, you can request your retailer to unroll the carpet and air it out a couple of days before bringing it in your home [source: EPA]. You should also keep the newly carpeted area well ventilated during installation to minimize VOC build up.


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