Friday, May 6, 2011

Carpet, Asthma & Allergy for Architects, Designers, Builders

Carpet, Asthma & Allergy for Architects, Designers, Builders - CRI Fact Sheet

Carpet. A Blueprint For Better Health.

~The Facts about Carpet and Asthma and Allergy for Architects, Designers and Builders

This is the 6th fact sheet in a series of 18 articles designed to share some of the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) best online assets – a collection of downloadable fact sheets. Developed as easy-to-use, one-page position statements, the CRI Fact Sheets cover four main carpet-related topic areas: Indoor Air Quality, Asthma and Allergy, Cleaning Products, and Environmental Sustainability.

Each of these topics is addressed from the perspective of various market segments: carpet dealers and consumers; architects, designers and builders; school administrators and facility managers, and healthcare administrators and facility managers. There are also separate fact sheets explaining CRI’s Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality and Seal of Approval carpet cleaning standards – 18 fact sheets in all.

The fact sheet on asthma and allergy facts for Architects, Designers and Builders begins,

“Despite the perception, here is the reality when it comes to carpet and asthma and allergy symptoms: Research shows that carpet is better at controlling allergens and better at reducing symptoms than other flooring alternatives. The facts are there. Now it’s time to build our case.” It continues:

What You Should Know

• A 15-year Swedish study found no link between carpet usage and the incidence of allergy or asthma. In fact, when carpet usage in Sweden decreased by 70 percent, allergy reactions in the general population increased by 30 percent.

• Also, an 18-nation study of nearly 20,000 people found a statistical relationship between carpeted bedrooms and reduced asthma symptoms and bronchial responsiveness

• A possible explanation: carpet acts like a filter, trapping allergens away from the breathing zone so they can be removed through proper vacuuming and deep cleaning extraction. For best results removing pollutants trapped in carpet, use CRI Seal of Approval vacuums and CRI Seal of Approval cleaning products and systems. Find out more at carpet-rug.org.

• Since properly maintained carpets do not exacerbate allergy and asthma – and may even reduce symptoms – you should feel comfortable recommending carpet for green building projects.

CRI wants to be known not just as the science-based source of information about carpet, but as the first stop for any and all questions about this useful floor covering.

See the complete list of Carpet and Rug Institute Downloadable Fact Sheets.

Next – The facts about carpet, asthma and allergies for school administrators and facility managers.

~Bethany

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The recent discussion on carpet as a top choice for schools has raised some interesting points. Our MilliCare partners work closely with several schools which have been very happy with their choice of carpet for floor covering. Of course, because we understand how to properly maintain carpet and the clear advantages of carpet in terms of improved safety, acoustics, and comfort, we have always wondered why it can sometimes be difficult to convince schools that carpet is an excellent choice for floor covering.

Allergen and pathogen control, durability, and ease in cleaning are the objections most often voiced by school facility managers. However, as your posting points out, recent studies have shown that carpeted floors cause no greater incidence of illness than any other flooring. Studies have also shown that carpet can be an extremely long-lasting, cost-conscious, and eco-friendly flooring choice.

The key to making carpet work as a flooring choice for schools and any other facility is proper care and maintenance. When cleaned frequently and properly, carpet can wear just as well as, if not better than, tiled floors or laminates, while offering improved sound absorption, reduced risk of common school slip and fall injuries, and enhanced aesthetics. Our MilliCare dry extraction cleaning method can be customized to meet the needs of each facility and involves no down time or wet floors, key concerns for schools.

We would encourage anyone responsible for specifying flooring for schools or other high-traffic volume institutions to consider carpet as an extremely viable and preferable choice. We’d also encourage them to talk to a certified carpet care professional before making any decisions to discuss strategies for maximizing the life of the carpet and the value of their investment.

Stephen Lewis, Technical Director
MilliCare Textile and Carpet Care

Bethany said...

Thank you, Stephen, for your excellent comments. CRI agrees wholeheartedly!

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