Healthy & Green Interior Design Tips: Carpet

Goodbye Carpet!

Typically, wall to wall carpeting is not a healthy interior design choice for your home. Although most carpeting I would protest against, not all carpet is bad for your health and the environment. Wool carpeting, although expensive is long lasting and can be a healthy and green option for your home. See my blog about rugs for more information on wool. Some of the main culprits of VOC’s are in the backing and pad. Be sure when you are purchasing new carpet to find out the materials in the backing and the pad. Avoid materials like steyrene. 

Synthetic carpets (polyester, Nylon) off gas into your home for several months. This can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation and may also affect the central nervous system. 

 What is off gassing? It is the evaporation of chemicals from a new product into the air. Most consumers are unaware that carpets contain 44 toxic chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer. According to the EPA, they also absorb VOC’s from other sources (paint, glues, etc.) and re-emit them over time.

 Carpet can also harbor dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores, pesticides and other materials. According to the American Lung Association, new carpet installation has been associated with wheezing and coughing in the first year of a babies’ life. Children are more likely to be affected since they play on the floor and place their hands in their mouths.

Imagine all the VOC’s created in manufacturing these materials. They fill landfills representing 3.5% of American landfill waste, totaling 4 billion pounds per year. They are made of oil, a non-renewable resource, they biodegrade very slowly, and leech dangerous chemicals into the ground.



When buying something new, purchase items that are


Written by:

Amy Hillegass

March 31, 2020