Today’s natural interior design aesthetic includes many flooring products, from natural-fiber rugs to luxury vinyl tile. For this customer, natural means chemical-free wool.
Elena Page, M.D., knew what she would do when it was time to replace her carpet. An occupational and environmental medicine physician in Cincinnati, OH., Page has a lot of experience in how chemicals can affect indoor-air quality.
All carpets from major manufacturers these days have CRI Green Label Plus Indoor-Air Quality certification, ensuring that the products meet safety limits for Volatile Organic Compound (VOC ) emissions set by the state of California. But that wasn’t enough for Page.
“I wanted to be sure that whatever I put in my home was not an emitter of VOCs,” she says. “I also care very much about what the workers are exposed to in making the carpet, and synthetic carpets expose them to a variety of harmful substances, some of which are carcinogens.”
Complaints about carpet pad odors show that researching the underlayment is just as important as the carpet that goes over itThe homeowner was almost distraught. She had just invested in a high-quality nylon carpet, only to deal with chemical fumes throughout her home as soon as the installation was complete.
Now, she was spending hours doing research on the Internet, and she called Natural Interiors® for help. She had a remnant of the carpet and had isolated it long enough to know that it was not the problem. The odors, she had determined, must be coming from the carpet pad.
“Can you tell me about chemical-free wool carpet and pad that you carry?,” she asked. “I am thinking that I may need to redo this whole project.”
I replied: “Is the company that sold you the carpet and pad going to give you your money back? It would be a real shame for you to have to pay twice for the same job.”
Cork, hardwood, tile and wool carpet – installed in five days and looking great seven weeks later
As should be done with all new construction projects, moisture levels were monitored for weeks before the hardwood flooring installation began. After acclimating the boxes of flooring on-site for three days, the transformation began. It took five days:
Carpet padding can now be held to the same standard as carpet for indoor-air quality
At last, a moment many of us have been waiting for has arrived. A testing program is now available for carpet padding that will actually ensure it does not emit unhealthful levels of chemicals.
A lot of people think we already have this through the CRI Green Label program for testing pad.But the CRI Green Label Plus program that is used for carpet is far more stringent, and soon, we will be able to look for this label on carpet padding, too.
The Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) and the Carpet Cushion Council announced earlier this week that the Green Label Plus program is being opened up to pad manufacturers.
"This offers cushion manufacturers the opportunity to qualify their products according to these more stringent standards and provide additional assurance for consumers concerned about indoor-air quality or potential VOC emissions," a CRI spokesman told TalkFloor.