A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that there was no difference in the levels of allergens measured in carpeted homes compared to homes with hard surface floors. The study concluded that improved cleaning and elimination of smoking will lessen children’s asthma related symptoms and increase their symptom-free days. The study found no difference in the improvement experienced by children who lived in homes with carpet versus children who lived in homes with hard surfaces.
Families in the intervention group were given HEPA vacuums and various cleaning products and educated about allergens and how to remove them from their home. The children in the intervention group missed fewer days of school and made fewer trips to the doctor. Children with carpet in their homes improved just as much as children with hard surface flooring.
For many years, homeowners have been replacing carpet with hard surfaces, thinking that this will help with asthma symptoms. The carpet industry has long maintained that carpet does not contribute to allergy symptoms or poor indoor air quality. This study is the first time this relationship has been rigorously examined and the carpet industry’s position confirmed.
The intervention group homes found marked declines in the measured levels of allergens, again with no difference found between homes with carpet and without.
These findings refute the widely held notion that people with asthma and/or allergies must remove carpet from their homes and confirms the carpet industries assertion that clean carpet is a healthy choice. I think the key word here is CLEAN. Carpet acts like a giant filter or sink, trapping and eventually filling up with dirt and pollutants that might otherwise be floating around the house. Cleaning the carpet empties it from all the contaminants and makes the home healthier.