Formaldehyde: You Make Me Sick

Not you… Your house. Or does it?

An article posted at a web site for newlyweds stated that carpet can make you sick or even (Gasp) kill you. It seems that 30 years ago they stopped using formaldehyde in carpet latex but neglected to tell “The Nest,” so they recommend that you use only carpet without it. Ummmm, you cannot buy carpet with formaldehyde. I guess you could call them up and get some?

They say:

Beware: Chemicals in your carpets: Carpets and carpet cushions can contain VOC’s

and emit formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas. According to the EPA,

formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in animals and may cause cancer in

humans. Health effects include eye, nose, and throat irritation; wheezing and

coughing; fatigue; skin rash; and severe allergic reactions.”


We say nay, nay. They suggest:

“Take care: Look for carpets made from natural fibers with little or no chemical

treatment. Shaw Floors sells a variety of eco-friendly colors and styles for both wall-

to-wall and area carpeting. Also, purchase carpets with natural fiber backing that’s

attached with less-toxic adhesives.”


We say double nay, nay. And what the heck is eco-friendly color? Green? Dirt? Again, they solvents used in carpet are EPA approved. The smell you experience is from a solvent called 4PC, and no I am not going to spell the chemical name. It is inert and dissipates in a few days.

Very few carpets use “natural” backing I.E. just because when wet it supports mold and bacteria. Synthetic backings do not, because like people, bugs eat natural products. Ever smell a wet wool sweater?

For more information check: customers/selecting-the-right-carpet-or-rug/green-label.cfm