Since 1992 the Carpet and Rug Institute has pioneered setting limits on carpet’s emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to establish a higher standard for indoor air quality. The Carpet and Rug Institutes explains how this program developed on its blog:
The Green Label program developed out of consumer and governmental concerns about carpet’s effect on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The original standard, developed in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, measured four compounds against an established criterion, as well as total volatile organic compounds, or TVOC.
We have all heard that the carpet in our homes may contribute to asthma and allergies. What is the truth? Myth or reality?
“While many doctors are still recommending carpet removal to their allergy and asthma patients, they were very open to information about proper carpet care and maintenance as a viable alternative to taking carpet out.”
So before you rip out all the carpet in your home you might want to read the latest (May 19, 2008) and most comprehensive report on the subject that backs up the CRI’s position on carpet and asthma. (more…)
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A couple of months ago I wrote an article about why Mohawk SmartStrand is Smart Choice.
Today, an exciting development was announced that will have a huge impact on the residential carpet industry and gives Dupont and Mohawk well deserved bragging rights.
In a very rare decision by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (whose role is to protect America’s consumers) Mohawk and DuPont have been successful in changing the classification of PTT fiber (DuPont’s Sorona polymer which is used to make Mohawk SmartStrand) as Triexta instead of Polyester.
Bamboo is extremely strong, long-lasting and just plain exotic. Not only gorgeous to look at, it’s also one of the most green and environmentally friendly flooring products on the market today. If that isn’t enough, it also compares favorably to hardwood flooring in price.
Bamboo – the renewable resource
Because it is a natural, renewable resource, bamboo flooring is considered by many to be the logical flooring choice of the future. Categorized as a grass and not a tree, bamboo just might be the world’s most sustainable resource. It is the fastest growing grass and can you can actually watch it grow. Bamboo reaches maturity quickly and is ready for harvesting in about 4 t0 5 years. Bamboo does not need to be replanted after harvesting because its vast root system continually sprouts new shoots. Bamboo accomplishes all of this on it’s own, without the need for machinery, pesticides and fertilizers. Bamboo is also used to control soil erosion and control rain run off. It’s hard to think of anything negative things to say about this remarkable resource.
Processing bamboo for flooring
Looking for new carpet? I recommend you put SmartStrand on your short list for many reasons.
Mohawk SmartStrand was released in 2005 and is made with DuPont Sorona polymer.
Now technically speaking this is a polyester fiber. What? Polyester you say, have you last your mind? No, this not the same type of builder grade polyester that we have learned to hate which easily mats, crushes and scratches.
The polymer is made by DuPont in pellet and the fiber and carpets are produced by Mohawk. DuPont’s trademark for the chemical type is 3GT, but the structure is chemically identical to PTT polymer. Shell/PTT PolyCanada also manufactures PTT which Mohawk uses as well.
DuPont has been making polymers for decades. Think Kevlar and Stainmaster which have become household names. We now have them to thank for Sorona which is naturally stain resistant. That means the protection will never wash off or wear-off. You will never have to reapply carpet protector after cleaning. The Achilles heel of nylon carpets is that the chemical stain resist proprieties will diminish over time and with recommended cleanings. SmartStrand with Sorona does not have this problem. Mohawk and Dupont are so convinced that PTT is superior to PET that they have made an application to the American Trade Commision (FTC) to re-classify it under a new name.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) explains:
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.
EPA’s Total Exposure Assessment Methodology (TEAM) studies found levels of about a dozen common organic pollutants to be 2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas. Additional TEAM studies indicate that while people are using products containing organic chemicals, they can expose themselves and others to very high pollutant levels, and elevated concentrations can persist in the air long after the activity is completed.
Allow me to relate a brief experience I had to set the stage for this article:
A previous client of the business I used to work for, found me after I started Get Fresh Carpet Cleaning in Calgary. She gets her carpets cleaned once a year and since they are white, they require allot of work to get them looking good again. I explained the benefits of the safe, green and residue free cleaning that I offer. She replied that she couldn’t care less about all that, as long as the carpets are clean!
Well, after I finished, she was thrilled to see the carpets actually looked better than before when I cleaned them a year prior with harsher chemicals! She commented that she was glad her carpets were left in a safe natural state, with no residue as her grand children come over there to play. She appreciates the benefits of safe and green cleaning, but… it also needed to be clean.
Many people share her sentiments. They would like or even prefer safe and green carpet cleaning, but in the end, the carpet still has to be clean, period. Many people ask me, does green really clean? (more…)