New Carpet Illness | Allergy

New Carpet Illness

by Allergy Guy

New carpets are a well-known cause of environmental illness.

Synthetic carpets release poisonous gassed for quite a while after they have been installed.

If you are considering the installation of new carpets, I advise against it.

If you are stuck with new carpets, here are some things you can try to reduce the damage.

I suggest you ventilate your home as much as possible – keep windows open as much as you can (weather permitting). If you have central heating/air conditioning, the system should have a fresh air intake. Make sure it is open to the max and leave the fan running 24/7.

If you have any extraction fans (eg from the bathroom or kitchen) that exhaust to the outside, leave them on 24/7. Note that many kitchen fans do not vent to the outside (crazy I know, but common – go figure) – so check this before bothering to leave it on all the time.

Get an activated carbon filter for your home. Hardware stores often sell HEPA filters with integrated activated carbon filters. The HEPA filter does nothing against the gasses, it is the carbon filter you are looking for.

Sarah has left a comment suggesting that a photocatalytic air purifier is helpful in improving air quality (available from Amazon, follow link in this sentence).

Important Note: I don’t want to scare you but you have to know: new carpets can seriously destroy your health.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sabrina January 31, 2013 at 03:05

I moved into my apartment on November 5th. After a short time I was feeling dizzy and nauseous then a little later I was feeling shortness of breath and pains in chest I’ve had so many tests done…. EKG chest X-ray ct scan of lungs with dye and ct scan of brain, asthma testing ultrasound on heart and they found nothing. The carpets are new and we found a little mold which they came cleaned and painted over and said it wasn’t active…. I have a new baby 4 months old I am nervous to why I feel this and have no answers so could anyone help me?


2 elaine October 10, 2012 at 13:43

I started this journey over a year ago (see august 2, 2012) comment. I have moved to apt without carpeting but the itching, coughing, headaches, shortness of breathe continued. I bought an air filter and carbon pellets nothing has completed helped. I moved to another apt with carpeting which was over five years old-no increase of symptons. I have gotten rid of my bed, couch, bedding, and lots of clothing. Now I feel unexplained sharp pains in my breast, have lots of mucous and conjestion, especially at night. My tongue has a funny feeling when I come in contact with the off gases which are still in my clothing and the veins in my hand rise as though my body is trying to fend of the chemicals. I keep my window open all the time because my body heat tends to activate the chemicals that remain in anything porous. I bought a new mattress but after a few week in this environment the bed is infected with the VOC’s. I sleep on a leather otterman or in a leather recliner. I am considering getting rid of everything porous and starting all over again. This has not only damaged me physcially but mentally. All summer long I have had clotlhing and bedding set on the porch in the sun to little affect. If anyone has any other suggestions I will be watching this blog for whatever info you may have.


3 Sarah October 11, 2012 at 15:37

Hi Elaine, I just read yr post. Chem sensitivities usually develop because of the liver becomes toxic and overloaded. Try seeing a QUALIFIED REGISTERED naturopathic doctor, they will be able to help you detoxify your body and strengthen your immune system which should help. I am a nutritionalist in NZ and i have alleviated many of my allergies,chem sensitivties and fibromyalgia through diet and lifestyle changes. Check out this website – it seems to have a lot of good info and prehaps you could contact them and ask them if they can recommend a good naturopath/environmental doc in your area. Good luck!


4 Sarah October 7, 2012 at 22:22

Hi there, we had new carpets laid by our landlord about 7 mths ago and I did quite a bit of reading around about off gassing at the time. Even though I wa told by several carpet companies and manufacturers that the offgassing should only last about 2 wks, I think it took about 6mths before we noticed a difference. The main thing is to keep windows and doors open as much as possible to get air movement through house. Steam cleaning may help and will remove any loose fluffy bits of carpet left over from when it manufactured but make sure it’s a truck mounted machine as they are much hotter. Pot plants are great air purifiers but i would also recommend Daikon’s photocatalytic air purifier. We have one in our bedroom and the air definately smells fresher plus has given me great piece of mind. Avoid ozone purifiers cos apparently the ozone can react with VOC’s and create more vOC’s. a cheaper option maybe to wear a face mask with a carbon filter from local hardware store although not the best solution long term. We also tried leaving big trays of activated carbon lying around but I don’t think it helped. Also has your partner tried consulting a good REGISTERED naturopath or nutritionalist because diet and good quality suppliments can really help osteoporosis. Hope this is some help and good luck with your carpet issues!


5 Nora October 5, 2012 at 18:21

We installed “new” carpet in 2/3rds of our small home 9/10/12. The carpet was a remnant, and had been sitting (albeit rolled) in a warehouse for nearly a year. Since installing the carpet, my partner has had some very bad, very scary reactions. Despite the fact that we keep the windows open as much as possible (not possible at night or when we’re not home, bad neighborhood), the offgassing continues unabated. When her bedroom door is shut (to keep cats from jumping on her head), she wakes up in the morning with “rigors,” i.e. horrible chills and uncontrollable shaking. She does not want the carpet removed as she has osteoporosis and falls often. Falling on a hard surface could well be a death sentence for her. So… she will begin sleeping in our “den,” which is tiled, we are getting the carpeting steam cleaned by our trustworthy no chemicals steam cleaner (we’ve used him for years without problems), and she will be seeing a good “healer” (my name for a wonderful chiropractor who truly is a miracle worker). I am contemplating buying an air cleaning system (carbon filter). Any OTHER recommendations? I wish I could convince her to pull out the carpet, but I can’t. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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