Carpet Label Wars
Despite CRI's Green Label initiative and the precautions the consumer can take to reduce the chances of getting sick from carpet, controversy remained. Critics, including New York's Attorney General, Robert Abrams, maintained that the Green Label rating system was not vigorous enough. And some blame a Green Label-certified carpet for emitting chemicals that disabled one family [source: Williams]
However, today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission admits that it doesn't have evidence that carpet chemical emissions cause adverse health effects [source: CPSC]. And, decades after the original incident in their headquarters that sparked the outrage, even the EPA says on its Web site that research hasn't determined whether carpet chemicals could be responsible [source: EPA].
Nevertheless, in the spirit of better-safe-than-sorry, the EPA recommends some precautions. The organization advises you ask the retailer to air out the carpet for several days before installation and keep your house well-ventilated for at least a few days after. You may even want to ask the retailer to use low-emitting adhesives.