Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurd in Capitol Halls: Extended Producer Responsibility Update

Frank Hurd; Hurd in Capitol Halls – An update of issues affecting carpet: Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

In an effort to keep all of its members up to date on the latest developments in state and federal legislation as they pertain to the carpet industry, here are excerpts from the first edition of “Hurd in Capitol Halls”, written and edited by Carpet and Rug Institute Chief Operating Officer and Government Relations head Frank Hurd.  According to Mr. Hurd and CRI Government Relations Director Jennifer Mendez, “Hurd” will be produced quarterly and more frequently during legislative sessions. 

The inaugural issue focuses on the pressing issue of extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation in the states.  EPR is the number one issue facing the carpet industry at the state level, whether it is framework bills (broad, all-encompassing proposals that could apply to multiple products and industries) or carpet-specific legislation. (See related blog articles EPR Update from Carpet and Rug Institute, Carpet and Extended Producer Responsibility.)

From Hurd in Capitol Halls, Volume 1

“Legislative sessions for 2011 have been quite active regarding EPR in the following states:

Delaware – The Delaware Legislature adjourned for the year on July 1.  There was a joint resolution introduced in the Senate in the closing weeks, which would have established a study group for carpet recycling (SJR 8).  Originally, the author’s intent was to introduce California AB 2398-type legislation.  Discussion with Senator McDowell’s office convinced them that the timing was not right for such legislation.  We were also successful in getting them to drop their proposed ban on landfilling carpet.  The good news is that they have agreed to have industry representation on the Study Group Committee.  This will lead to discussion with the industry before submitting legislation.  The resolution did pass the Senate, but it did NOT pass the Assembly which killed the bill for this year.  We fully expect to see something similar in 2012. Delaware has moved up as a state that we need to watch carefully so we will be monitoring and working proactively in Delaware prior to the start of the 2012 legislative session.

Iowa - (HF 80) Introduced in the Iowa House; this piece of framework legislation did NOT pass.  It was introduced by a Democrat, who is not a member of the Natural Resources Committee, in a state with a Republican majority.  It is unclear whether this will be reintroduced in 2012.

Massachusetts – This is a state that seems to never go out of session.  It’s been a busy session   with three framework bills introduced (H. 2017, H. 2003 and S. 341).  All three bills were filed early in 2011.  The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Energy held a hearing on May 4, 2011, during which CRI Government Relations Director Jenn Mendez testified.  Additionally, CRI provided written testimony.  To date, there has not been any movement on these bills.  CRI, along with the EPR coalition, continues to monitor the situation in Massachusetts.

New York - (AB 6293) This framework bill was introduced and referred to the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee.  A “hearing” (with very little notice and limited allowance for testimony) was held on May 10 and the bill was reported out.  CRI, along with the EPR Coalition, worked to prevent Republican sponsorship of this bill in the Senate.  The legislature adjourned and this bill DIED with the adjournment.

New York – (AB 8492) A very onerous, carpet-specific bill.  This bill was introduced with very little fanfare.  It was reported out of committee but then stalled.  CRI worked with allies on the ground to build support to prevent this bill from moving.  It is likely that this bill, as well as the framework piece of legislation, will resurface in 2012.

Oregon - (HB 2187) This is the second consecutive legislative session where a bill of this type has been considered.  CRI worked with the EPR Coalition to defeat this.  In 2010, Oregon passed a paint-specific EPR bill.  It is likely a similar bill will once again be introduced in 2012.

Rhode Island - Although the paperwork from a busy end-of-session is still being processed, the product stewardship bills in Rhode Island and companion framework bills (H 5888, S 459) did not move out of the Environment and Agriculture Committees.  We expect them to be reintroduced in 2012.

Vermont - (HB 74 / SB 21) Similar to the 2010 Maine framework legislation.  Working with the EPR Coalition, these bills did not pass.  It is likely, given the makeup of the House and Senate in Vermont, they will reappear in 2012.  Even if these bills somehow pass in 2012, it is likely that Vermont’s Republican Governor would veto them.

Washington     (SB 5110) This was perhaps the most troubling and onerous piece of legislation introduced at the state level during the 2011 session.  CRI sent CEO letters of opposition to Senator Phil Rockefeller, Committee Chair (Environment, Energy and Water).  Jenn Mendez testified in opposition February 2, 2011 at the committee hearing, CRI along with its member companies activated a grassroots letter campaign by Washington flooring retailers.  Our efforts led to the eventual death of the bill in the Senate Rules Committee.  It’s almost certain this bill will be reintroduced in 2012.

Other Concerns: In addition to bills introduced, we expect to see the possibility of framework legislation in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Minnesota introduced framework legislation during the 2010 session but it wasn’t signed by then Governor Pawlenty.  Wisconsin also considered the idea but nothing materialized.  Some states have approached CRI about carpet-specific legislation (Illinois and Texas).  CRI continues to stress that our efforts in California are an experiment and any further legislation at this time is premature.”

Thank you Frank and Jennifer,

~Bethany


Friday, August 26, 2011

Carpet's Impact on the Environment. Should I Be Concerned?

Carpet's Impact on the Environment. Should I Be Concerned?

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q & A - 3rd in a series

Should I be concerned about carpet's impact on the environment? is the third in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. It contains great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new.

Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #3: Should I be concerned about carpet’s impact on the environment?

The carpet industry is minimizing carpet’s impact on the environment through the new “3 Rs” which stand for reduce, reuse and recycle. Properly maintained carpet has a long lifespan. And at the end of that lifespan, the industry is going above and beyond to reuse carpet in new carpet, or recycle it to make products like roofing shingles, railroad ties and automotive parts. There is also a growing number of retailers selling recycled carpet, so you have more ways to make a positive environmental impact right from the start.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer this question? What resources do you use to answer consumer questions about carpet's impact on the environment?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Celebrating FCN's Al Wahnon: 25 Years of Keeping Carpet Industry Informed

Celebrating FCN's Al Wahnon: 25 Years of Keeping Carpet Industry Informed

Celebrating 25 Years of Keeping the Carpet Industry Informed

In his June 10, 2011 column titled "Floor Covering News celebrates 25th anniversary" for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun talks about the 25th anniversary of Floor Covering News, Al Wahnon and recollects a few details from the past himself.

“Floor Covering News is a trade publication that covers the flooring industry and connects all the different players, much the same way the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) provides a common link between CRI member manufacturers, allied manufacturers and associate members.

…I enjoyed remembering the man who started it all: the inimitable Al Wahnon. As the president, editor and publisher of Floor Covering News, Mr. Wahnon founded the trade magazine in 1986 after leaving his 31-year career at Floor Covering Weekly. Floor Covering News became known as the “new kid in the neighborhood,” as the publication launched in the same year that DuPont gave us Stainmaster. The first issue was released on April 7, 1986.

Sadly, the magazine’s publisher did not live to see the publication he started reach its 25th anniversary because he passed away in February of this year at the age of 90. But this week’s edition contained a reprint of an editorial Al wrote for the issue’s 20th anniversary. Some of Al’s observations really took me back.

He talked about some of the changes Floor Covering News had seen — technological advances, the addition of new floorcovering markets and the fading of others. Plus, the rise of social media and the changes these new forms of communication were bringing to industry conversations. All the history was interesting, but I most enjoyed the personal tales this industry icon shared from his lifetime observing the carpet — and later the wide flooring — industry. As Al put it: “Somehow, incidents become vague and shadowed in time, but the people remain in focus, subject to instant recall, because they touch the heart and linger. I am fortunate to have encountered a multitude of wonderful people during my journey through the years and I cherish their friendships, their sincerity (and) their loyalty through the good times and bad.”

Well said, Mr. Wahnon — we miss your voice.”

Thank you, Werner.

~Bethany

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Water-Only Carpet Cleaning Perspective From an Expert

Water-Only Carpet Cleaning Perspective From an Expert

A Perspective on Water-Only Carpet Cleaning ~ Carpet Cleaning Expert supports Seal of Approval Guidelines for cleaning solutions

I enjoy the emails I receive from carpet-cleaning expert Mark Violand with D&R Carpet Service, Inc. His latest one offers his views on carpet cleaning services that offer to clean with water alone. Here’s what he says:

“Water is a great solvent, it dissolves sugars and salts and is very abrasive. Yes abrasive. Before the Grand Canyon was a canyon, it was the Grand Prairie.

All kidding aside, water may have all these great attributes, however “water alone” does not make a good carpet cleaning agent. Water alone does not dissolve airborne oils which are dirt binders, sticky substances that attract and bind abrasive dirt particles to the fibers. A cleaning agent is needed to dissolve the oil and suspend the soil particles so they can be extracted off the fibers.”

He says the trend towards water only is understandable: operations managers and executive housekeepers are looking to minimalist methods as a way to avoid, in his words, “bad cleaning agents and misleading instructions on chemical bottles”. He notes that cleaning agents that leave soil-attracting residues behind will cause carpet to resoil rapidly.

The answer, he says, is to use detergents that come out clean and that dry to a “crisp, crystalline structure that subsequent vacuuming can remove.” When I read that, it reminded me of the last time I had my carpets cleaned by a Seal of Approval Service Provider I hired here in Dalton. When they were finished, my carpets looked great, and they crunched when I first walked on them. A list of SOA Service Providers is on the CRI website – you can find one in your area just by entering your zipcode at the top of the page.

Mark’s comments fall right in line with the Carpet and Rug Institute’s guidelines established in its Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning products and equipment. To earn SOA certification, cleaning products, including spot removers, in-tank and pre-spray solutions, must clean effectively, and then must “come clean” from the carpet, just as Mark describes. As of this writing, there are 329 commercial and residential products that have passed the Seal of Approval testing, with more added each week. You can browse a list of SOA-certified solutions on the CRI website.  

Thanks, Mark for your contribution to carpet cleaning information. I’d like to hear from others out there on this topic. Comments, anyone?

In the meantime, Mark – keep sending those emails!

~Bethany

Friday, August 19, 2011

Allergies and Carpet. Do They Mix?

Allergies and Carpet. Do They Mix?

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q & A - 2nd in a series

"I've Heard Allergies and Carpet Don't Mix. Is That True?" is the second in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. It contains great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new.

Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #2: "I've Heard Allergies and Carpet Don't Mix. Is That True?"

There’s a popular myth that carpet makes asthma and allergy symptoms worse. But in reality, the opposite is true. Research has shown that carpet actually acts as an air filter, trapping allergens so they can’t circulate in the air. In fact, in one study where carpet use was reduced by 70%, allergic reactions increased by 30%. If you properly clean and maintain your carpet, there is no better floor option to mitigate asthma and allergy issues.
Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer this question? What resources do you use to guide consumers when they bring up carpet allergy myths?

Let me know in the comments!

~Bethany

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Water Supply Vital to Carpet Industry

Time for the state of Georgia to take action for its water future by Werner Braun

Time for the state of Georgia to take action for its water future by Werner Braun ~Water supply vital to carpet industry

In his June 18, 2011 column titled "Time for the state to take action for its water future" for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun discusses Georgia’s ongoing quest for a solution to the state’s threatened water supplies; specifically, a proposed “swap” with the state of Tennessee for water from the Tennessee River. Braun suggests Georgia could find inspiration in the carpet industry’s conservation efforts and by concentrating on the environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability.
“There is no question that the manufacture of carpet is an intensive industry process, requiring substantial consumption of water and energy. There’s also no question that the disposal of post-consumer carpet has been of increasing environmental concern. That’s why it is so important for CRI and its members to have a proven commitment to doing what’s right for the environment.

…The carpet industry is reducing its environmental footprint, with significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, water consumption reduced by 30 percent, reduced energy consumption, reduced reliance on “dirty fuels” and much greater use of renewable energy sources, and a large increase in use of post-consumer waste materials in carpet production.


…The carpet industry is the largest manufacturing industry in Georgia, employing more than 70,000 nationwide, with an annual payroll of more than $4 bllion. Annual carpet mill sales exceed $14 billion and represent a significant economic impact to Georgia and its various communities. The mills have invested more than $400 million to improve sustainability.

For more information, see the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Sustainability Report.

So what will become of the recent proposal for a water swap? Time will tell, but by identifying the environmental, economic and social responsibilities involved with implementing a water action plan we can decide the best option for Georgia. Because a sustainable operation is a journey, not a destination, and it’s time we take action for such a future.”

Thank you, Werner.

What's your perspective on the best option for Georgia and its water future?

~Bethany

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Allergies and Kids: Why Farms Are Better Than Cities

Allergies and Kids: Why Farms Are Better Than Cities

Have you ever wondered whether farms or cities are better for kids and allergies?

I found a new health information website I really like. It’s called, “fyi LIVING – Health Tips Backed by Research”. I like that the articles are based on research, and that each online article contains the links to the original research if you want to learn more.

Here’s one that caught my eye – “Why Farm Kids Don’t Have Allergies But City Kids Do.” The article describes how a study done in Munich showed that children who live in rural areas are 30 to 50 percent less likely to develop asthma or allergies than kids who live in the city. Wow!

And it’s not because city kids live in dirty homes – in fact, the problem is, their homes are too clean. The statement is based on a report that examines the results of two European studies that compared asthma and allergy rates in city versus rural-dwelling children.

One study focused on children’s bed mattresses and found that the country children’s mattresses had far more bacteria than the city children’s beds. The other study looked at dust found in the children’s bedroom. Once again, dust from farm kids’ room contained high loads of bacteria and fungus – much more than the city kids’ rooms.

But when it came to asthma and allergies, the opposite was true. City kids had way more allergies and were much more likely to be asthmatic compared to those who lived on farms.

The article said, “Based on these studies, researchers conclude that it’s beneficial to live in an environment that contains an assortment of “good germs,” microorganisms that help a child’s body develop resistance to allergies and asthma.

When my own children were little, their dad, who is a physician, used to explain why he would let our sons play in the dirt and get covered with various kinds of muck and mire, saying that he was just exposing them to a little “immunologic challenge”. Looks like he knew what he was talking about.

The article contains advice for young mothers about how to expose their own little ones to just the right amount of “immunologic challenge” – namely, make sure to give them lots of time outdoors.

Where do your kids play outdoors?

~Bethany

Friday, August 12, 2011

Carpet, My Best Flooring Option. What Do I Do Now?

Carpet, My Best Flooring Option. What Do I Do Now?

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q & A

Carpet, My Best Flooring Option. What Do I Do Now? is the first in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. It contains great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new.

Let’s go over these carpet questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #1: I’ve decided carpet is my best flooring option. Now what do I do?

Whether you are a residential or commercial customer, durability and style are the two things to consider. How many people live in the house or work in the building? Where are the high-traffic areas? What style is the decor, and how will the carpet complement it?

We recommend making a list of your priorities and then talking things over with your local carpet experts.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer this question? What resources do you use to guide consumers through figuring out what to do once they have decided carpet is the best flooring option?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Quelling Urban Carpet Myths With Japanese Industry: Werner Braun

Quelling Urban Carpet Myths With Japanese Industry: Werner Braun

International Interest in Carpet: U.S. and Japanese carpet industry will share information and resources to support the use of carpet

In his June 24, 2011 column titled "Working to quell urban myths about carpet; Help is appreciated" for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun talks about how some persistent myths about carpet are affecting the carpet industry on an international level.

In the article, Mr. Braun points out how CRI works on behalf on the carpet industry to identify the reasons people choose not to use carpet in their homes, and then doubles its efforts addressing those issues with the various groups in the market who are shopping for floor coverings. Apparently, CRI is not alone in the struggle.

“Over the years, many of our counterparts in Canada, Mexico and Europe have corresponded with us, seeking information to disseminate to the naysayers in their respective regions.”

Mr. Braun said he recently met with a contingent from the Japanese carpet industry. Only about 3-5 percent of floors in Japan are carpeted, and the industry in that country is also fighting the misperception that people with asthma and allergies should not live in carpeted homes.

“The Japanese carpet industry representatives shared data and studies they had accumulated to help in the battle against this urban myth and we gladly shared with them the information we have that helps dispel the notion that carpet somehow or someway aggravates asthma and allergies.

One of the reasons it is so beneficial to us to have an ally like Japan trying to dispel the myths on carpet is the fact it gives us almost a third-party spokesman in helping us dispel it here. We would also love for the Japanese to take some initiative and perhaps fund some sort of a clinical study that we could hitch our trailer to. We continue to talk to them about doing dust mite research, so who knows … maybe our collaboration will be beneficial.

It is these kinds of collaboration that can go a long way into helping get soft floor covering onto more surfaces worldwide.”

Thank you, Werner.

~Bethany

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Carpet and Rug Institute Moving to Downtown Dalton’s Historic Post Office

Downtown Dalton’s Historic Post Office, by George Davies

From One Landmark to Another: Carpet and Rug Institute Moving to Downtown Dalton’s Historic Post Office

Earlier this spring, the Carpet and Rug Institute Board of Directors voted to sell CRI’s headquarters to neighboring Dalton State College and move into the historic Old Post Office on Hamilton Street in Dalton’s downtown area. CRI will share the space with the local Dalton Chamber of Commerce.

Here’s a look at CRI’s future new headquarters building, courtesy of artist and Dalton native George Davies.

This image is one of a set of notecards Mr. Davies compiled in 2009 that feature his watercolors of historic buildings from Dalton’s downtown area.

Watercolors of historic downtown Dalton buildings, notecards by George Davies

Here’s the description from the back of the Downtown Dalton Historic Post Office Building card:

This classic landmark was built in 1907-1909 and was established as a U.S. Post Office in 1910. The post office was moved in 1965, and the building was renovated in 1965 and is now the Dalton Public Schools Administration headquarters. Designed by noted architect James Knox Taylor, Supervising Architect of the United States Treasury from 1897 to 1912, the beautiful structure features a cupola and other design elements that reflect the architectural essence of the Georgian style.”

The School administration moved out in 2010, leaving the building empty. It is owned by the City of Dalton, which is installing a new roof and making extensive renovations so it will be ready for its new tenants. The renovations and redesign are being undertaken by Dalton architect Gregg Sims.

So, CRI is moving – probably sometime late this year or in early 2012. Who wants to come by CRI and help clean out 40 years of old files? Volunteers are welcome.

~Bethany

PS: Sets of Mr. Davies’ notecards may be purchased from The Pine Needle in Dalton, Georgia.

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Guide to CRI's Seal of Approval (SOA) Program

A Guide to CRI's Seal of Approval (SOA) Program

Working with the Industry. Looking Out for Consumers. A Guide to CRI’s Seal of Approval Program

This Guide to the CRI's Seal of Approval (SOA) Program is the 18th 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 the Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning products and equipment begins:

What’s the Seal of Approval Program?
“The CRI Seal of Approval program tests the effectiveness of carpet cleaning products and certifies those products that remove difficult stains or a sufficient amount of soil without damage to the carpet. Not all products clean well enough to earn this distinction. Seeing the CRI Seal of Approval logo on products helps consumers recognize that they are buying quality products.” It continues:

What types of products are tested?
Under the Seal of Approval program, tests are conducted on cleaning solutions and deep cleaning machines. Each product is tested at an independent laboratory against control samples to assess product performance using scientifically accredited cleaning standards.

• Spot removers and pre-spray/in-tank cleaning solutions are tested for overall cleaning effectiveness, pet stain and odor removal effectiveness, rate of resoiling, pH, optical brighteners and colorfastness to light.

• Deep cleaning extractors are tested for soil removal efficacy, amount of residual moisture and appearance retention.

• Deep cleaning systems (which use a specific machine used with a particular cleaning agent, following a set procedure) are tested for soil removal efficacy, resoiling, appearance retention, residual moisture, surface appearance change with repeated cleaning, colorfastness, pH and optical brighteners.

• Vacuums are tested for soil removal, soil containment and wear to the carpet.

Why is the Seal of Approval program necessary?
Not all cleaning equipment and solutions achieve the same results. Independent testing has shown that various cleaning detergents and spot removers clean no better than water. Worse, they can leave a sticky residue that attracts soil at a faster rate. Also, the equipment used to clean carpet varies widely in its ability to remove soil, recover water and maintain a carpet’s appearance.

How does the Seal of Approval program benefit customers?
Effective carpet cleaning helps maintain the life and beauty of the carpet. This means customers get more enjoyment out of their carpet and more value for their investment. Also, helping carpet maintain its life-cycle cuts down on its premature removal to landfills. And that benefits everyone. Finally, some carpet companies require the use of Seal of Approval products as part of their carpet warranties.

What is Space Foundation Certification?
An important feature of the Seal of Approval program is the use of XRF technology to measure the amount of soil removed from the carpet. Because the Space Foundation recognizes the XRF component of the Seal of Approval program as a Certified Space Technology©, companies with certified products are eligible to display the Space Foundation Seal along with the CRI Seal of Approval. This is an excellent way to showcase how space science applies to everyday life.

Why are some Seals platinum, gold, silver or bronze?
The Seal of Approval program utilizes X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology to measure precisely how much soil a product removes from a carpet sample. Those that meet the stringent minimum requirements for the Seal of Approval qualify for the bronze rating. Those achieving higher soil removal receive a silver rating. Products achieving an even higher level of measurable soil removal are awarded a gold level Seal of Approval. Recently, a platinum level was added for those products that reach the highest level of efficacy.

What else should people know about carpet cleaning?
Today’s carpets are more stain resistant and durable than ever, making them relatively easy to clean and maintain. However, preserving the life and beauty of carpet depends on several factors: the quality of products and equipment used to clean carpets; the frequency which carpets are cleaned; and the skill and knowledge of the people doing the cleaning.

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.

For the complete list of Carpet and Rug Institute Downloadable Fact Sheets, click on this link.

If you have any questions about the Fact Sheets, please let me know in the comments.

~ Bethany

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Facts About Carpet and Formaldehyde

Facts About Carpet and Formaldehyde

Facts about Carpet and Formaldehyde by Werner Braun

~Formaldehyde in carpet not an issue, says Cleaning Industry Expert

In his July 1, 2011 column for the Dalton Daily Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute president Werner Braun talks about the misconceptions many people have about carpet and asthma and allergy symptoms.

In the article titled "Breaking Some Myths About Indoor Carpet", Mr. Braun refers to an online discussion group called “the Healthy Carpet Workgroup” that is examining the role of cleaning and maintenance in keeping carpet clean and indoor air healthy. It's a way for CRI to put its own information “out there” and see what conversations were taking place about carpet. According to the article, one question that was raised concerned carpet and formaldehyde. A response came from Allen Rathey, workgroup leader and cleaning industry expert:

“’To set the record straight on formaldehyde, carpet itself is apparently not a significant source of exposure to this pollutant. According to Air Quality Sciences (AQS) laboratories: ‘Carpet emits volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as do products that accompany carpet installation such as adhesives and padding … One VOC that is not a concern is formaldehyde, since formaldehyde is not added as an ingredient in the manufacturing process in the United States. In a study where 19 new SBR latex-backed carpets were tested, no formaldehyde emissions were detected.’

Rathey continues by making a few assertions:

1) The carpet industry has improved the makeup and installation of carpet (aided by CRI’s Green Label Program) to greatly reduce if not eliminate most VOC-related health issues for non-sensitive people. Still, proper ventilation is important until off-gassing is complete. (CRI says that VOCs are “virtually undetectable within 72 hours after installation.”) It is unclear how these VOCs may — or may not — affect allergies and asthma, but what is clear is that these VOCs dissipate over time and then apparently become a non-issue.

2) Clean and dry carpet does not create asthma and allergy-related health problems.

3) Health-related issues pertaining to carpet are mainly cleaning and maintenance issues (improper vacuuming, extraction, building moisture or relative humidity levels).”

Thank you, Werner!

~Bethany

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

CARE's Sikorski on AB2398 Implementation

CARE's Sikorski on AB2398 Implementation

Georgina Sikorski Talks About the Implementation of California AB2398 and Other Care News ~The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men Sometimes Go Very Well

- So far, so good on implementation of AB 2398 in California, says Carpet America Recovery Effort director Sikorski.

In an interview that aired July 22, 2011, Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) Executive Director Georgina Sikorski tells Floordaily.net publisher Kemp Harr that the countless hours of preparation and carpet industry involvement have so far paid off, in the form of a seamless implementation of California AB 2398, a new state law that promotes carpet recycling by requiring consumers to pay a $.05 per square yard recycling assessment on all new carpet purchased in California.

The first-of-its-kind law, designed to incentivize carpet processing and diversion from landfills in California, went into effect July 1st. Retailers are charged with adding the $.05 per square yard assessment on their customers’ invoices as an after-tax line item, then sending the money back to the manufacturers, who in turn hand the money over to CARE, which has been named the stewardship organization under the law. After review by a third-party accounting firm, CARE will distribute the funds to carpet recycling and processing companies in California, as well as to manufacturers who make products that contain post-consumer recycled carpet content.

Ms Sikorski said the effort leading up to the law’s implementation involved, “a lot of work by many, many people.” She said that an AB2309 FAQ document on the CARE website proved to be particularly valuable in helping stakeholders such as retailers, importers, manufacturers, and recyclers navigate through the complex AB 2398 process.

Click on this link titled Georgina Sikorski Talks About the Implementation of California AB2398 and Other CARE News to listen to the interview.

Congratulations to Georgina, CARE, and everyone who helped prepare for this momentous new legislation!

~Bethany
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