Study Shows Carpet Helps Indoor Air Quality

Dalton, GA, Jan. 8, 2014 -- A series of studies funded by Shaw Industries indicates that effectively cleaned carpets can trap allergens and other particles, resulting in fewer particles escaping into the air and thus contributing to the maintenance of indoor air quality.
“These studies challenge the long held belief that carpet must adversely impact indoor air quality as it pertains to allergy and asthma sufferers,” said Dr. Bruce Mitchell, CEO of Airmid Healthgroup Limited, the independent biomedical research organization that conducted the study.

“Effectively cleaned carpets have the capacity to trap allergen and microbial particles, making these particles less available to become airborne and thus maintaining indoor air quality. This makes regularly cleaned carpet a choice for families impacted by asthma and allergies.”
The studies, which were presented at the annual meetings of both the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), evaluated several residential hardwood and carpet products.

The studies aimed to determine the depth of allergen penetration in carpet, the levels of allergens found in the air and the impact of carpet cleaning on allergen removal.  Prior to cleaning, the levels of airborne allergens, such as cat and dust mite allergens, were less for all of the carpets than the hardwood flooring, even after the carpet was repeatedly disturbed.

After cleaning the carpets, a meaningful reduction in allergens occurred in the carpet and the surrounding air, Shaw said.

The carpets were cleaned using the industry recommended method, which included vacuuming, cleaning with a cleaning agent, agitation, and hot water extraction.

“These findings add to the existing body of research that indicates that well-maintained and effectively cleaned carpets can be a viable choice for asthma and allergy sufferers,” said Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs at Shaw.

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