New Carpet Allergy
Question: "I want to have new carpet installed in my home, but my husband seems to be allergic or at least very sensitive to the smell of new carpet. Can you offer some suggestions?"
Answer: New carpet can be a source of chemical emissions. In addition to the carpet, the padding and adhesives all emit volatile organic compounds. Some people report symptoms such as upper respiratory irritations, headaches, skin rash , shortness of breath or cough, any fatigue, which they associate with new carpet installation. The distinct odor of new carpet is usually attributed to the chemicals 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC). This chemical can be detected at very low levels, but does not result in an unpleasant odor for everyone. The odor dissipates within a few days.
There are steps you can take that will make the carpet installation process easier for sensitive persons.
For additional information, please see the following areas:
SOURCE: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (www.niehs.gov)
Last Editorial Review: 8/9/2006
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