Carpet has been used for years by millions of people. Carpet is made primarily of the same materials found in clothing and other everyday products i.e., polyester, nylon, olefins, and backing materials.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs in the indoor environment. The low-level VOC emissions from new carpet normally dissipate within 48 to 72 hours after installation when accompanied by good ventilation.
The carpet industry has always regarded IAQ safety as important and has worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), academic institutions, and independent laboratories to evaluate carpet’s role in the indoor environment. Throughout those evaluations, scientific evidence has indicated no specific links of adverse human health effects due to chemical emissions from carpet.
The carpet industry members are committed to improving the quality of indoor air and reducing the VOCs from its products. To achieve this goal, CRI established a testing and labeling program. The program’s green and white logo displayed on carpet samples informs the consumer that the specific manufacturer’s product type has been tested by an independent laboratory and has met the program criteria for very low emissions. The manufacturer’s carpet sample is tested for chemical emissions using the most up-to-date dynamic environmental chamber technology. The test methodology was developed by consensus during an official dialogue with the EPA and has been adopted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as D 5116 – Guide for Small-Scale Environmental Chamber Determinations of Organic Emissions from Indoor Materials/Products.
Since the inception of the program in 1992, the carpet industry has reduced the overall level of emissions by selective raw material usage and other process modifications. The program establishes maximum allowable emissions for acceptance. The emissions of 13 target compounds are measured in mg/m2 •hr. The emissions level required for certification are compliant to the most stringent IAQ standards, like CDPH 01350. A complete listing of the compounds and target levels can be obtained through the CRI or its website www.carpet-rug.org/glp.
Other means that have an effect on indoor air quality are:
•Changing HVAC Filter
•Controlled Relative Humidity
•Cleaning solution fragrances