Safer Carpet Installation

Most indoor air pollution experts agree that carpet should be avoided whenever feasible. The reason for this is that carpet is made up of some 120 different chemicals, many of which can cause health problems, and that once installed, carpet can collect dust and even lead (tracked in from shoes), and grow mold and dust mites. That being said, there are ways to reduce your exposure to the chemicals of the carpet and it’s installation.


  • Choose natural fibers that haven’t been chemically treated. If you choose wool, make sure the wool is organic and hasn’t been given a moth treatment.
  • If you buy a synthetic carpet, consider having it tested first by Anderson Labs. At the very least, make sure that the carpet holds the controversial “Green Tag” seal from the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). Although this seal will not guarantee that the carpet is non-toxic, it will assure the carpet’s volatile organic chemicals (PVCs) are within
    what the CRI considers an acceptable range.
  • Tacking carpets down is safer than gluing.
  • Avoid carpeting with PVC or styrene-butadiene rubber backing, and rubber carpet pads.
  • Camel hair and wool needled (not glued) carpet pads are far safer and hold up very well.
  • Finally, do the job in the summer when the house can be aired out, and ask the carpet installer to air the carpet out in the warehouse for three days at least—the longer the better—before putting it in the house.

18 comments

Mickey J.
Past Member 3 years ago

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Kath P.
Kath P.3 years ago

Stitched wool rugs with a felt under pad is the way to go.

Jane H.
Jane H.3 years ago

I am in need of new carpeting and will buy wool, but I did not know the surrounding items which you say are good when getting wool--like airing it out and being sure it hasn't recieved a moth treatment, and the timing of getting it installed.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Don Schwarz
Don Schwarz4 years ago

Thanks!

J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

good to know

Penny B.
.4 years ago

Thanks for the information.

Ajla C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks.

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Carole R.
Carole R.5 years ago

Good information. Thanks.