Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hardwood Retailer Wrong About Carpet

Lumber Liquidators Ad: Wrong About Carpet

Bad Ad: Hardwood Retailer Gets It Wrong About Carpet

Even though there is no scientific link between carpet and increased allergy and asthma symptoms, the perception endures, despite significant research that indicates that in fact, the opposite is true.

In a recent magazine ad, hardwood retailer Lumber Liquidators attempts to exploit the myth that carpet causes allergies. In the ad’s headline, a customer is quoted saying, “We are excited to be rid of the carpet and (hopefully) the allergy symptoms it caused…”

This sort of product-bashing advertising is never a good idea, and when it’s based on information that’s just plain wrong it really scrapes the bottom.

If perception is reality, then the customer who thinks that removing her carpet will lessen her allergies is probably right. If nothing else, the money she had to spend to make the change provided her with a powerful financial incentive for thinking she made the right decision. In medical research, the placebo effect is well known - drug studies on pain medicines have reported false positive responses as high as 60%. As Shakespeare says in Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

But the Carpet and Rug Institute and its members (many of whom manufacture hard surface flooring as well as carpet), prefer to deal in facts. And the fact is: clean, dry carpet will not cause allergies or asthma.

In an international literature review article compiled for CRI, board-certified toxicologist Dr. Mitchell Sauerhoff surveyed more than 23 scientific studies and concludes that the negative perceptions and persistent, long-held beliefs on carpet’s alleged negative characteristics are not consistent with current research. In his report, “Carpet, Asthma and Allergies - Myth or Reality,” Dr. Sauerhoff states that:

“Based on the available science, carpet does not cause asthma or allergies and does not increase the incidence or severity of asthma or allergies symptoms. In fact …multiple studies have reported fewer allergy and asthma symptoms associated with carpet.”

For his article, Dr Sauerhoff reviewed studies from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Global Initiative for Asthma, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Center for Environmental Assessment, and American Journal of Public Health, among others.

Other studies show that, while carpet will hold greater amounts of dust and particulate matter, it tends to act like a filter, containing dust and keeping it from becoming airborne into the breathing zone until it can be removed through vacuuming. To help the carpet cleaning process, CRI’s Seal of Approval program for vacuum cleaners tests machines for dust removal and containment, and lists the most effective ones on its website.

In general terms, CRI’s position is that keeping a house allergy-free is not so much about what flooring product you use as how you keep it clean. If the Lumber Liquidators customer wasn’t keeping her carpet (as well as the rest of her house) clean, it’s possible she may have made her allergies worse. I wonder if the retailer told her she would have to be at least as vigilant cleaning her hardwood as she was with her carpet, if not even more?

Choice is good, in flooring and everything else. I hope next time, Lumber Liquidators will choose selling tactics that are based on their own products’ strengths, not on made-up weaknesses in the competition.

Added 4/8/10: Here is a link to my interview with Kemp Harr of FloorDaily on the subject.

~ Bethany

Thursday, March 25, 2010

CRI Video Promotes Carpet in Healthcare

CRI video - Healthy Patients and Healthy Numbers: The Results of Evidence Based Design - promotes carpet in healthcare

Carpet and Rug Institute Video Titled "Healthy Patients and Healthy Numbers: The Results of Evidence Based Design" Promotes Carpet in Healthcare


Last post [about our video promoting carpet in schools], I talked about how the CRI website has a host of useful resources that aren’t new, but still deserve a second look. Two videos – one for school designers and another for healthcare facility designers – make the case for carpet as a valuable design element that helps people learn and heal better. Produced and written in 2002 by Steve Grass, a talented filmmaker who now works for Mohawk Industries, they feature me as the narrator, long before I came to work at CRI.

The video is titled, “A Short Video on How Interior Design Solutions Aid Healing and Foster Patient Care.” It talks about how:

• For many patients, especially the incontinent, carpet is safer because it helps prevent slip and fall accidents.

Carpet reduces patients’ stress. A nurse on the video says, “You saw it on their faces - you could even see it in their vital signs - their blood pressure, their heart rate - usually wasn’t quite as elevated from stress.”

Technological advances – such as new fibers and construction, new backings, and the increased use of carpet tile, have made carpet even more suitable for healthcare settings.

Carpet costs less over time: CRI studies show how, with proper care and maintenance, carpet saves money in the long run.

Summing up, the video says, “The aesthetic, kinesthetic, and psychological benefits of carpet are accompanied by financial, practical and environmental returns that make carpet a serious contender for your facility’s flooring.”

The video promoting carpet in healthcare is available on CRI’s YouTube channel, and it has its own page titled Healthy Patients and Healthy Numbers: The Results of Evidence Based Design on the CRI website. The page also includes links to a virtual library of studies and documents examining the role of carpet in healthcare settings. Check it out and let me know what you think.

I've embedded it here and included the video transcript below:



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Healthy Patients and Healthy Numbers: Promoting Carpet in Healthcare


Narrator: It can be argued that some of the most cutting-edge thinking in healthcare is taking place in the area of architectural and interior design. At first the connection between interior design and care for the sick may seem counterintuitive given today’s advances in machines and medicines. In an age when technology scans the body for microscopic flaws and advanced drugs seek out and painlessly neutralize once-deadly bacteria is it any wonder some might question the importance of mere decorations in care of the sick? Wayne Ruga, a world-renowned health care architect, says a critical mass of scientific research has now demonstrated to even the staunchest skeptics that the quality of the physical environment can have a profound influence on improving therapeutic outcomes. At The Carpet and Rug Institute, we’ve studied various applications of carpet in commercial and industrial settings, and we’ve come to a solid conclusion: when used and maintained appropriately, our studies suggest that carpet is an extraordinarily good tool for health care facility designers.

Nurse: It is nicer when there is carpet on the floor, especially when you are doing a twelve hour shift on your feet all day. It is a lot less harsh on your feet - you go home and you’re not as tired - your feet and legs aren’t aching as much.

Narrator: For patients, the comfort underfoot that carpet creates helps reduce stress and makes the hospital a much more homelike environment, while reducing the risks of slips and the injury from a potential fall.

Nurse: When a patient is incontinent and gets up on a hard floor there is a higher risk for falling because it is a slippery surface. Whereas a patient gets up due to incontinence on a carpet it’s not as slippery as a floor - it soaks it for a second and there is no spread of it so there’s less chance for them falling. On a carpeted floor there is traction there and there is a less risk for patient harm. As a nurse, I noticed that my patient was much more relaxed. They weren’t sitting there twiddling their thumbs, they were more in tune with what was going on, but they weren’t anticipating every movement, they were more just in general relaxed. You saw it on their faces - you could even see it in their vital signs - their blood pressure, their heart rate - usually wasn’t quite as elevated from stress for someone waiting to have a surgery.

Narrator: Carpet has new technical product breakthroughs that make it even more suitable for healthcare’s demanding environment. New types of tiled carpet, new ways of manufacturing carpet and improving materials technology are always making carpet a better product. Carpets specifically designed for healthcare facilities can make wheeled furniture use comparable to hard surfaces, and special-application carpet provides greater on-site flexibility. Carpet’s ability to hold on to dirt like a filter is an asset, since it prevents dust and other impurities from reentering the breathing zone, being displaced to other places in the room, or moved about the facility. Soil can be mechanically extracted from the carpet and safely removed.

The Multi-step Maintenance Plan outlined by CRI and approved by all major carpet manufactures provides a model for floor care that maximizes the environmental benefits of carpet. Dirt is contained by mats located at entryways and other areas of heavy traffic. These mats reduce the inflow of outside contaminants – regularly-scheduled vacuuming with a CRI Seal of Approval machine removes contaminants. Spot and spill response teams, either hospital staff or other professionals, deal with localized problems. Deeper, regular-interval professional cleaning preserves the look and feel of carpet and prevents long-term buildup of dirt. Each of these sanitation methods extracts biological elements from the floor and removes them from the indoor environment.

We’d never suggest that carpet is the only floor covering that healthcare providers should consider, but when all of carpet’s benefits are examined, it is a hard act to follow.

Consider carpet and you will discover lower overall costs. We’ll provide you with the numbers that prove it. The aesthetic, kinesthetic, and psychological benefits of carpet are accompanied by financial, practical and environmental returns that make carpet a serious contender for your facility’s flooring. Interior designer Jain Malkin is a bestselling author whose seminal 1992 book, Hospital Interior Architecture, has had a significant impact. She says the benefit of a well-designed healthcare setting is that it allows the patient to relax so that medications and therapies can be more effective. In low stress environments people heal faster. We hope you’ll look over the reference materials we’ve linked to this cd and consider carpet as you plan your institution’s future.

Thank you for watching

And, thanks for reading, too!

~ Bethany

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CRI Video Promotes Carpet in Schools

CRI Video - Beautiful Spaces for Children - Promotes Carpet In Schools

CRI Video - Beautiful Spaces for Children - Promotes Benefits of Carpet in Schools


The Carpet and Rug Institute has a wealth of research and marketing material that, though not exactly new, is still useful and timely. Two good examples are a pair of videos made back in 2002. The first, on the benefits of carpet in a school environment, emphasizes that carpet makes a classroom more attractive and comfortable. The video begins,

When it comes to the care and nurture of children, every parent instinctively wants to create an environment filled with stimulating things to absorb the child’s interest… Many educators and parents are beginning to realize the physical space students occupy contributes greatly to their emotional and educational experience.”

Other points brought out in the video include:

Acoustic benefits. The video quotes Loraine E. Maxwell, an Environmental Psychologist at Cornell University who specializes in the effect of noise on learning. She cites negative, psychological, motivational, cognitive effects as well as potential physical damage from excessive sound levels in children’s environments’. She has written that excessive noise can have especially detrimental effects on younger children when language and discrimination skills are forming, and her work details the benefits of undeniably quieter environments that include carpet, pillows, and curtains.

Fewer slip and fall accidents resulting in less severe injuries. A teacher on the video says, “Third graders are very physically animated - they are all over the place. I don’t care what kind of control you have in the classroom, all it takes is snow beginning to fall outside or the excitement of the weekend coming. Some things are going to happen. Children fall, children get scrapes and bruises, but having carpet on the floor, maybe a fall isn’t as bad as it normally would be.”

Teachers prefer carpet. The video refers to a nationwide teachers’ survey that showed that 92% of teachers reported a preference for carpet in the classroom.

Carpet is better for Indoor Air Quality – while carpet will contain dust, testing shows that the soil stays in the carpet until it is removed through vacuuming. In a carpeted classroom, less particulate matter is kicked up into the breathing zone compared to over hard surface floors.

The video is available on CRI’s YouTube channel, and it has its own page titled Beautiful Spaces for Children on the CRI website. The page also includes links to a virtual library of studies and documents examining the role of carpet in schools.

I've embedded it here and included the video transcript below:


Coincidentally, I was hired to narrate the video back when it was made in 2002, so you see, I’ve been helping spread CRI’s message about carpet even before I came to work here!

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Carpet and Rug Institute's Beautiful Spaces for Children Video Transcript Promotes Carpet in Schools


Narrator: When it comes to the care and nurture of children every parent instinctively wants to create an environment filled with stimulating things to absorb the child’s interest. First and foremost in every parent’s thinking is the safety and comfort of their child; they know that a good environment not only is safe, but makes the baby feel safe. We have learned that mobiles stimulate a baby’s vision, teaching the infant to be more observant. It is said that infants practice decision making millions of times in their first two years. Infants pick up questions about the world and their place in it from the way their small world is arranged. Laurie Guevara-Stone, a writer from Mothering Magazine, writes, “Many educators and parents are beginning to realize the physical space students occupy contributes greatly to their emotional and educational experience.

Teacher: This school was renovated a couple of years ago and they created an absolutely gorgeous place for children. A place for them to come into and feel important because things were arranged for them. Part of showing them you treat them with respect is having a very attractive place for them to work in and a place that is easy for them to work in. We enjoy this school and the carpet makes a big difference in this school.

Narrator: 92% of teachers in one survey believe classroom design has a strong impact on student learning and achievement. When a school room is characterized by order, simplicity and beauty which meets the needs of the child, success is more likely and enjoyment of the classroom inevitably leads to an enjoyment of learning. The child who is wrapped in beauty and order where she learns will have pleasant positive associations with the learning experience, and love of learning will become part of her character. The new discoveries underline the school design revolution. Beyond question, human infants and children learn more rapidly in stimulating and varied physical environments which meet basic human needs says Anne Taylor PH.D., professor at the school of Architecture and planning at the University of New Mexico.

Teacher: Carpets a very important part of creating attractive environment for children. We find that children behave much better if their surroundings are attractive - geared to the age of the children - and are appropriate for the children. Carpet makes that possible.

Narrator: The idea that an attractive and stimulating environment makes better schools is not just some abstract theory. Real life experience supports this idea as demonstrated by a study conducted at the 1997 renovation of the Charles Young Hill Top academy in the District of Columbia. Before and after data were carefully collected relating improvements to the environment and academic performance. Before the restoration problems included mold and allergens, poor lighting, ventilation problems and an unattractive unwelcoming look to the schools interior. It is important to note that after the restoration which included carpet on the facilities floors indoor air quality was dramatically improved and bio pollutants were virtually eliminated from the school. What you may find most interesting is that academic performance was dramatically impacted by these changes. For example, the rate at which students tested below basic levels was cut in half from 49% to 24%, and reading had almost as dramatic change with below basic skills falling from 49% to 25%. And the above basic skills results showed a 50% increase in Math and nearly that in Reading. We will provide you with the web address that documents these changes at the end of the video. Loraine E Maxwell, an Environmental Psychologist at Cornell University who specializes in the effect of noise on learning, is an advocate for carpet. She cites negative, psychological, motivational, cognitive effects as well as potential physical damage from excessive sound levels in children’s environments. She has written that excessive noise can have especially detrimental effects on younger children when language and discrimination skills are forming, and her work details the benefits of undeniably quieter environments that include carpet, pillows, and curtains.

Second Teacher: It is important in a classroom to have as little noise as possible. Now obviously, you can’t get rid of all of it, but the less distraction that you have the more likely the child is going to be able to focus on the task at hand. Carpet provides a very quiet environment in the classroom; it helps the teacher in keeping down the noise level.

Teacher: But the noise level is still high in those schools that don’t have carpet in the halls. We have visited schools that don’t have carpet and as quiet as the children are it can still be distracting for children in the classrooms if doors are open.

Second Teacher: Third graders are very physically animated - they are all over the place. I don’t care what kind of control you have in the classroom, all it takes is snow beginning to fall outside or the excitement of the weekend coming. Some things are going to happen. Children fall, children get scrapes and bruises, but having carpet on the floor, maybe a fall isn’t as bad as it normally would be.

Narrator: Some people think that carpet collects dirt - this is true. Unlike hard surface flooring which can reintroduce dirt into a room’s breathing space, carpet captures it and vacuuming extracts the dirt and allows it to be easily removed. Regularly-vacuumed carpet is proven to aid in better indoor air quality. The concept of clean and dry is the simple starting point in good carpet care, but we have more resources for the professionals who keep your school environment clean and functioning at optimal levels. The multi-step maintenance plan outlined by CRI and approved by all major carpet manufacturers provides a model for floor care that maximizes the environmental benefits of carpet. Dirt is contained by mats located at entryways and other areas of heavy traffic. These mats reduce the inflow of outside contaminants. Regular scheduled vacuuming with a CRI Seal of Approval machine removes contaminants. Spot and spill response teams deal with localized problems, deeper regular interval professional cleaning preserves the look and feel of carpet and prevents the long term build up of dirt. Each of these sanitation methods extracts biological elements from the floor and removes them from the indoor environment. At CRI we know that when objectively analyzed carpet is an outstanding floor covering for school environments, but we also want you to know that it isn’t just our opinion. We’ve told you about experts from around the country who understand the contribution carpet makes to a high performance educational environment. We hope the links we’ve provided will be a resource for assessing carpets appropriateness for your facility and introduce you to some other resources that may help you create an optimal learning environment for the students at your school. Gay Elliot worked for one of the Nations leading school architectural firms when she said, “If you were to ask me the most important thing in a class room apart from a good teacher I’d say carpet.”

Thanks for watching.

And, thanks for reading, too!

~ Bethany

Thursday, March 18, 2010

FloorDaily Interviews CRI on Asthma, Allergy & Carpet Issues

CRI on FloorDaily about Asthma, Alleries & Carpet

FloorDaily Interviews Carpet and Rug Institute Communications Manager on Asthma and Allergies Issues

It is an honor and a pleasure to be invited to talk with Floor Focus publisher Kemp Harr for his Floordaily.net news site. Recently he asked me to update him on CRI’s appearance at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, or AAAAI. See the related blog post Carpet, Asthma, Allergy & Doctors here.

Briefly, I told Kemp that, slowly but surely, I felt that CRI was making headway with doctors in getting them to hear CRI’s message that carpet is an acceptable floor covering for asthma and allergy patients. In fact, our research shows that carpet actually improves indoor air by trapping heavy dust particles and the allergens attached to them, and holding them until they can be vacuumed away with a Seal of Approval-certified vacuum.

During their training, doctors are told that asthma and allergy patients should remove their carpet, and for most doctors, that continues to be a strongly-held belief. However, several doctors at the AAAAI meeting told me that CRI’s research on carpet and asthma and allergies “gave them a new way of looking at the situation.”

It’s hard to change someone’s opinion, and even harder to change their beliefs – a doctor’s beliefs may be the hardest nut of all. Still, it seems like CRI is making a little headway, and that’s good news. Even bigger news is how many doctors wanted more information for their patients about CRI’s Seal of Approval testing program for vacuum cleaners and online list of certified carpet cleaning professionals.

Thanks, Kemp, for this opportunity to help CRI spread the word.

Listen to the interview here: Bethany Richmond Discusses CRI's Efforts to Educate Asthma & Allergy Doctors on Carpet.

~Bethany

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WebMD Nasal Allergy Relief: Keep Carpet Clean

WebMD Nasal Allergy Relief: Keep Carpet Clean

WebMD's Nasal Allergy Relief slideshow offers solutions that make better use of the carpet in your house through proper cleaning and maintenance.


Over the years, I have seen some pretty inflammatory remarks concerning carpet, and in almost every case, the author of such remarks is usually relying on outdated information or unsupported data. One of the biggest topics has been, and continues to be, the notion that carpet somehow or another triggers or exacerbates asthma and allergy when it does not.

If you look back at some of our blog posts you’ll see that we address this subject quite frequently, well….because it continues to pop up in the mainstream. We attend doctor conventions and engage them in conversation; we respond to websites and media outlets; we have even gone as far as to issue press releases when the offending entity is so big, it deserves the warranted attention.

I liken it to a boxing match because no matter how many times we go to the ring to fight it, we know that there is always going to be another challenger answering the bell wanting a piece of the action.

Of course, the good news is that not everybody we battle is a heavyweight contender. In fact, the reason I wanted to bring all of this to your attention is because sometimes if you keep punching and punching, it does make a difference.

One of the real heavyweights as far as information for consumers is the website WebMD. With more and more people doing all they can to avoid co-pays and such at the doctor’s office, getting free medical advice for what ails you is a pretty popular thing these days. WebMD is pretty much the Rolls Royce of such things and based on their marketing and national TV campaigns must be making a pretty good living in order to afford such things.

WebMD currently has some information up regarding “Nasal Allergy Relief” and in it they provide 17 items one can incorporate to provide just that. Several of those items have carpet ramifications in them.

For starters, they suggest walk-off mats for entry ways into the house. Many irritants -- dust, mold, dust mites, wood smoke, pesticides -- get tracked into your house on your shoes they say, and of course, a walk-off mat helps to keep them outside and off your flooring. Even if a carpet does hold such allergens from being circulated into the breathing zone, prevention of having them in the carpet in the first place is a high order.

The website also recommends using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter on it. Now we would love for them to go a step further and recommend using a Seal of Approval/Green Label vacuum, but part of that is probably an education matter. Our SOA/GL program not only removes the allergens trapped in the carpet, but our testing protocol guarantees that everything off that vacuum cleaner is being contained to a very high degree. For instance, a gold level approved SOA/GL vacuum has to pass a test that shows it has no more than 35 micrograms of particle per cubic meter emitting from it. And by emitting from it, I mean from the filtration device as well as the vacuum cleaner itself which includes all the tiny parts underneath the machine where all the agitating action takes place as from the parts of the vacuum itself including the belts and hoses.

WebMD also mentions using steam cleaners to rid carpet of the dust mites that set up shop, and again, we’re all aboard with that. Deep cleaning the carpet every 12-18 months is necessary to pull out the soil and particles that settle deep into it, and hot-water extraction with an SOA-approved machine is a wonderful recipe for removing dust mites and such.

Certainly WebMD does have authors who recommend removing carpet and replacing it with hard surface and we have engaged them on this personal viewpoint in the past. The great news about this most recent article is that it doesn’t recommend removing carpet. It provides solutions on how to better utilize the carpet people have in their house through proper cleaning and maintenance, and that is the message we have been taking to doctors for the last year or so.

Recently, one of the doctors we met with made a very profound statement when asked about carpet and allergies: “Most of my patients don’t sleep on the carpet, but they do sleep on mattresses and pillows.” The message is starting to resonate that cleaning a carpet is the much better resolution than removing it.

Carpets are wonderful filters that can be used to protect those with allergies and asthma, but they need to be cleaned and maintained just like any other filter in your house. And it is nice to see when heavyweights such as WebMD are getting the message.

~ James

Thursday, March 11, 2010

ProTeam's Gold-level SOA Certified Vacuums

Pat Jennings

Vacuum Manufacturer ProTeam Goes for Gold in Ad Featuring Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval

One afternoon last week, CRI Communications Manager Bethany Richmond came by my office, excited to show me a magazine ad for ProTeam, a commercial vacuum manufacturer and one of our most successful participants in CRI’s Seal of Approval vacuum testing program. The full-page ad featured a display of six of ProTeam’s Gold-level Seal of Approval-certified vacuums under the headline, “Announcing The Gold Medal Lineup.” The ad was, of course, a clever reference to the recent Winter Olympics, and a world-class endorsement for the Seal of Approval program.

ProTeam's Gold-level Seal of Approval-certified VacuumsTo achieve a Seal of Approval gold rating, a vacuum cleaner must remove more than 55 percent of the available soil and exhibit dust containment equal to or less than 35 micrograms emitted per cubic meter of air. It must also pass the texture appearance test, which means the vacuum should not affect the texture appearance of the test carpet – a commercial cut-pile construction - more than a one-step change based on one year of normal vacuum use. Measurements are taken after 800 passes of the vacuum, with the sample rotated every 200 passes. So you see, it’s not an easy thing to do.

Another interesting element of the Seal of Approval vacuum testing is the technology behind it. To determine just how much soil is removed from a carpet sample, the SOA vacuum testing uses X-Ray Fluorescence, a technology that was originally developed by NASA for the Space Shuttle program to help it identify the materials in the shuttle’s metal alloy parts. X-Ray fluorescence was modified to identify down to the tiniest microgram the exact amount of soil removed. For more information about how X-Ray fluorescence was adapted for vacuum testing, click here.

Whenever I travel for CRI to cleaning and maintenance industry trade shows, I like to walk around the show floor and visit the booths of companies that participate in the Seal of Approval program, to see if they display the SOA logo or label on their displays or certified products. I am always heartened when I see it, and puzzled when I find a company that has passed CRI’s testing but doesn’t promote the fact in their marketing.

“CRI Seal of Approval is a well-recognized certification in the industry highlighting vacuum equipment that meets higher levels of carpet cleaning effectiveness and indoor air quality. ProTeam’s accomplishment with our backpack vacuum system achieving gold Seal of Approval sets us apart from the competition,” said Matt Reimers, ProTeam’s vice president of sales and business development.

Thanks to ProTeam for helping to promote the Seal of Approval program. They score a perfect 10 from me!

~Pat

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

ReSource Members Join CARE Aligned Dealer Program

Resource Commercial Flooring NetworkI am so proud of my friends at the Carpet America Recovery Effort. This year, CARE has doubled its membership by reaching out to various new groups interested in carpet recycling and landfill diversion. Congratulations to CARE Executive Director Georgina Sikorski, Operations Manager Jeremy Stroop, and CARE’s talented board of directors for their successful marketing efforts – we all benefit from them.

The latest boost for the Carpet America Recovery Effort’s Aligned Dealer program is a significant coup for CARE membership. The dealers in the nationwide ReSource Commercial Flooring Network are supporting carpet recycling and reuse by becoming members of CARE. ReSource represents 64 commercial flooring dealers at 97 locations across the U.S.

"ReSource dealers are a welcome addition to CARE’s Aligned Dealers Program," said CARE Executive Director Georgina Sikorski.

CARE seeks to find market-based solutions to the challenging problem of post-consumer carpet contributing to crowded landfills. Since its inception in 2002 as a joint industry-government effort, CARE has helped divert over 1.3 billion pounds of post-consumer carpet from landfills, and has led efforts to find and market new products that can be made from materials derived from post-consumer carpet. Examples include new carpet, fiber cushion for carpet underlay, injection-molded auto parts and various plastic consumer products. CARE's Aligned Dealer program offers carpet dealers a cost-effective opportunity to join CARE and support carpet recycling.

In a press release CARE sent out recently, ReSource Vice-President Ken Daniels is quoted as saying, "ReSource has consistently supported CARE as a corporate member, and we are pleased that our members have chosen to support CARE individually as well. Partnering with CARE on the membership as well as the corporate level further demonstrates ReSource’s comprehensive commitment to environmental sustainability.”

Thanks to Resource dealers for caring about resources - in the form of CARE, a great organization that stands for carpet recycling, new product development, and landfill diversion.

~Bethany

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Carpet, Asthma, Allergy & Doctors

American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology Annual Meeting 2010

Carpet and Rug Institute Attends American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology Annual Meeting in New Orleans


Or, No Sneezy [Allergies] in the Big Easy...


I spent the weekend in New Orleans at the annual meeting of AAAAI – the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology, talking to doctors who stopped by the CRI booth. I talked to allergists and pediatricians, family practitioners, academic researchers, and practice nurses, among others, about the suitability of carpet as a floor covering for patients with allergies and/or asthma, and about the best ways to keep carpet clean. I handed out hundreds of copies of our booklet, Carpet Cleaning Tips for Dummies, as well as a brochure that summarizes Dr Mitch Sauerhoff’s international literature review that concludes that there are currently no scientific studies linking carpet to increased asthma and allergy symptoms.

This was my second AAAAI meeting, and the third meeting of allergy doctors I have attended for CRI, and my sense is that the doctors seem to be getting used to having CRI there. While the first year we showed up we definitely met some skeptics, this year I felt much more accepted and welcome. CRI had arranged to have the Sauerhoff brochure titled "Clearing the Air About Clean Carpet" placed in specially-prepared bags of literature that were given to each attendee.

I’d estimate at least eight or ten doctors mentioned to me that they had read the brochure, and of that group, three or four said the information had definitely made them rethink what they had been taught during their training – that asthma and allergy patients should always remove carpet from their homes. Several others commented that they agreed that there didn’t seem to be any science behind the recommendation to remove carpet - only presumptive and anecdotal evidence - and that information on effective cleaning was valuable. Dozens of docs requested that I send them packets of Carpet Cleaning Tips for Dummies books to distribute to their patients.

It was gratifying to feel like I met a receptive audience for the message that clean, dry carpet is a great floor covering for every home – including those where asthma and allergy patients live.

~Bethany

P.S.: The Housekeeping Channel published today a Q&A on Asthma, Allergies and Carpet. Would you add any questions to the list?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

CRI Annual Congressional Reception & Capitol Hill Visits

Jennifer Mendez

The Carpet and Rug Institute's Annual Visit to Capitol Hill and Congressional Reception


Last week I participated in a noteworthy Carpet and Rug Institute event: the annual visit to Capitol Hill. Of course, for me, it’s not so much of a visit since I’m located in the DC area year ‘round. But it is an amazing experience. When James Beach shared with me that he would be writing today’s blog, I pooh-poohed the idea of him blogging about something he didn’t personally experience. So now I’m today's designated CRI blogger….

For the past several years, shortly after Congress convenes for a new session, CRI staff Werner Braun, Frank Hurd and I accompany a group that includes members of CRI’s Government Issues Committee and representatives from the Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce on a trip to Washington DC to visit selected Congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. We also schedule a reception on The Hill. This year 's delegation was bigger than any previous year's, which allowed for more visits and more "face-time" with our elected representatives. We not only met with members of the Georgia Delegation, we branched out and met with members from Alabama, Tennessee, and the Carolinas!

This was the first year we had enough attendees to split into two groups, which enabled us to cover more ground. And when I say ground I mean it. Those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of traipsing back and forth between the House and Senate and even into the U.S. Capitol can’t truly appreciate the value of comfortable shoes! (I had warned our member company folks that they should come rested and in appropriate footwear!)

We packed more than 20 meetings into just over 24 hours. Wednesday morning, February 24, we began with a pre-briefing to discuss our talking points and divide into groups before setting off. Our Schedule included visits to Congressman Westmoreland (R-3rd, GA), Congressman Gingrey (R 11th, GA), Sen. Shelby (R-AL), Congressman Hank Johnson (D 4th, GA), Senator Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Hagen (D-NC), Congressman Marshall (D-3rd, GA), Sen. Session (R-AL), Congressman Broun (R 10th-GA), and Congressman Deal (R-9th GA). And that was just on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, CRI hosted a reception in the Rayburn House Office Building that featured food from Chick-fil-A. This was no small undertaking, because, unlike Georgia, there isn’t a Chick-fil-A on every other corner. We know that the staffers enjoy it and so we work to have it there and not disappoint. It’s also the occasion where attendees get a small rug with a depiction of something representative of Georgia. This year it was the Live Oak.

The reception was followed by dinner with CRI staff and member company personnel to relax (i.e. finally sit down!), recap the events of the day and prepare for the next full day of meetings.

Thursday we had more meetings with the following offices: Congressman Linder (R-7th GA), Sen. Alexander (R-TN), Sen. DeMint (R-SC), Sen. Corker (R – TN), Congressman Barrow (D-12th GA), Sen. Chambliss (R-GA), Congressman Kingston (R-1st GA), Congressman Lewis (D-5thGA), Congressman Price (R-6th GA) and Sen. Burr (R-NC).

During each of our meetings with Congressmen, Senators and staffers we addressed a number of issues relevant to the industry. We began every meeting with a “thank you” for efforts already made on behalf of our industry. Then we launched into our hot topics this year: Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA or the “card check” bill), the home furnishings tax credit (HIRE Act), Climate Change, Recycling, EPA Coal Fly Ash Regulations and Extended Producer Responsibility Laws at the state level.

It was a lot of information to cover but we did it! A big thank you goes out to our contract lobbyist, Dutko Worldwide who managed much of the scheduling and logistics. An even bigger thanks goes to our GIC members who took the time to travel to DC and share their expertise with policy makers. I think this might possibly have been our most successful visit to-date!

I think you'll enjoy these photos from the CRI Annual Congressional Reception & Capitol Hill Visit.

Here, Werner Braun prepares to shake hands with Congressman Westmoreland – also in this photo – Rick Hooper, Frank Hurd and Brian Anderson.


Next, Louis Fordham and Werner Braun receive a copy of the US Constitution signed by Congressman Paul Broun.


Drake and Larry Cook with Congressman Broun.


And, here, Brian Anderson, Congressman Deal and Rick Hooper enjoy Werner Braun’s remarks at the reception



~ Jenn Mendez
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