Carpet is an IAQ helper? So says researcher

May 15, 2000
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
RACINE, WI — “Carpet provides the interior environment the unique benefit of acting as a filter for indoor air.”

Judy Bates, director of research for Racine Industries, Inc., makes the above statement based upon 10 years of IAQ research.

She adds that although there is a perception that carpeting is a source of biologicals, the research does not support this theory and although biologicals can be found in carpets, the data to date indicates “no release from carpet into the air.”

The trap is set

“Relationships between floor coverings and airborne particles,” the most recent study testing whether floor coverings trap airborne, respirable particles or are a source of them, supports this conclusion.

Conducted by the University of Las Vegas (UNLV) and sponsored by DuPont, it was found that with up to 1,000 times the normal number of respirable particles and mold spores introduced into two enclosed rooms with carpet, subsequent walking tests released only 0.007, or 0.2%, of the spores.

What the data does indicate, and what common sense suggests, is that airborne biologicals fall down onto the carpet from the air. They also fall down equally on any other flooring surface.

What carpet brings to the equation, by virtue of its three-dimensional construction and pile density, is the ability to trap and hold biologicals where they land. That is why biologicals are found in carpeting.

Racine Industries cites a comparison between the amount of installed carpet and allergic reactions in Sweden from 1973 to 1990.

In Sweden, carpeting was thought to be an IAQ problem and in 1973 the country began to systematically remove it. By 1990, the amount of installed carpet had fallen from more than 15 million cubic meters to less than 4 million.

In that same period of time, the number of allergic people increased three-fold, from 1 million to 3 million (the population remained relatively constant).

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 Energy Efficiency Forum

Highlights from the 25th annual Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: John Missell

John Missell, vice president and COO of Spectrum Design, joins the program to discuss how his company has utilized geothermal technologies, and we examine the future of renewable energy resources. Posted on Aug. 15.

More Podcasts


NEWS 08-18-14 cover

2014 August 18

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Prohibiting HFCs

EPA is proposing a rule that would prohibit some HFCs in select refrigeration applications. Do you agree with this move?
View Results Poll Archive


2014 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con