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Cleaning the Nations Carpets and Upholstery

Ten Myths about Carpets

Myth No. 1: There are health risks associated with carpet.

Truth: An extensive toxicological assessment of components of carpet concluded that the chemicals in carpet pose no health risks of public concern.

Myth No. 2: Mould and mildew can grow in carpet.

Truth: Mould and mildew exist only where there is excess moisture and dirt coupled with poor cleaning and maintenance habits. Mould growth can occur on any surface that is not properly maintained and when moisture is extreme.

Eliminating sources of excessive moisture, such as water leaks, and controlling humidity greatly offset the potential for mould to grow.

Myth No. 3: Carpet is a cause of the asthma and allergy increase.

Truth: Comparison data from Sweden supports that there is no link between carpet usage and the incidence of asthma or allergies.

CRI is not aware of any published scientific research demonstrating a link between carpet and asthma or allergies.

Myth No. 4: Carpet is a sink for allergy-causing substances.

Truth: This is true as stated. The critical point, however, is often missed. Carpet holds allergen-causing substances tightly and, as a result, keeps allergens from becoming airborne, minimizing the level of allergens in the breathing zone. This translates to lower exposure potential.

The allergens held by carpet's filter-like effect may be removed by vacuuming, refreshing the filter-like properties of the carpet to allow more material to be removed from the air. Vacuuming mattresses, carpet, and upholstery once or twice a week removed allergens, including dust mite faeces, a known source of allergen.

Myth No. 5: Carpet is a source of indoor quality (IAQ) problems.

Truth: As noted previously, an extensive toxicological assessment of components of, and emissions from, carpet concluded that the chemicals in carpet "present no health risks of public health concern." Further, allergens in carpet may be removed by vacuuming.

Myth No. 6: Carpet is more expensive and harder to maintain than hard-floor surfaces.

Truth: Properly maintained carpet only needs vacuuming once or twice weekly and periodic extraction cleaning. The sweeping, mopping, stripping, waxing, and buffing that hard surface floors demand are more laborious and costly.

Myth No. 7: Carpet is environmentally non-sustainable.

Truth: CRI member companies, representing over 90 percent of the industry's manufacturers, have an excellent track record over the last dozen years of decreasing wastes produced and energy consumed, improving the industry's sustainability.

Myth No. 8: Carpet is a major emitter of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Truth: Most new interior furnishings and building materials emit VOCs for a period of time. Emissions from new carpet are among the lowest of any household's indoor furnishings, and most VOCs dissipate within 24 hours — even faster with good ventilation.

Myth No. 9: Formaldehyde is used in the production of new carpet.

Truth: Formaldehyde is not used in the carpet manufacturing process. It is not emitted from new carpet.

Myth No. 10: Latex in carpet produces allergic reactions.

Truth: The latex that holds the fibres and backing together in broadloom carpet is synthetic. Synthetic latex is not associated with the allergic reactions of natural latex, which are caused by the proteins found in natural latex.

National Carpet Cleaners Association

Since 1968 the National Carpet Cleaners Association is the UK’s national association for carpet & upholstery cleaners, oriental rug cleaners and water & fire damage restorers. The Association is widely recognised, as being the authoritative source of information and advice on all aspects of the industry. Because the NCCA believes that proper training together with the knowledge, understanding, and skill acquired through that training, is so vital to the maintenance of standards, the Association has an ongoing commitment to the education and training of its members. Members are also required to abide by the Association's Code of Practice, which covers such specifics as fair pricing, service, complaints procedures, liability and consumer protection, designed to ensure customer satisfaction at all times. All members are required to provide a high quality service to their customers, summed up by the association's motto: "Service with Integrity". Monkland Cleaning Services is very involved in this association.

Only fully accredited members of the Association are eligible to use the NCCA name and logo, and thus able to extend to their customers the assurance this offers.

The Carpet and Rug Institute, an industry trade association, wants to dispel untruths and myths about carpets.

"The suggestion that carpet causes indoor air quality problems is a significant issue for the carpet industry to address," said Werner Braun, president of CRI. "Through research, CRI offers information that is valuable to medical professionals and to anyone living with carpet."

The following myths have been identified as the top ten most persistent misconceptions, according to Mr. Braun.