(Naturalhealth365) For most, the word “home” evokes feelings of privacy, sanctity and safety. But, in reality, most people (unfortunately) would never suspect that the carpeting underfoot would be a source of danger and a hidden reservoir of toxic chemicals.
In a report released last October by Healthy Building Network (HBN), 44 toxic substances were identified in ordinary broadloom carpets and carpet tiles – which are purchased and installed in homes and businesses to the tune of 11 billion square feet per year.
Note: these toxins increase the risk of neurological problems and even, cancer.
Environmental experts say that carpet chemicals — known to cause respiratory disease, heart attacks, asthma and developmental problems – can be released into indoor air and household dust by the process of abrasion (the shedding of fibers from normal use and cleaning).
Toddlers and children – who have smaller, still-developing body systems and spend more time crawling and playing on flooring – are particularly at risk.
In addition to the dangers of inhaled or ingested chemicals from carpets in the home, the HBN reports that recycling and disposal of carpets can also create hazards for humans and the environment. More than 4 billion pounds of used carpet are dumped into landfills or incinerated every year, where they release toxic particulates and chemicals into the groundwater and atmosphere.
The HBN, a non-profit organization that works towards hazardous chemical transparency, lists 44 harmful chemicals found in carpet facing, carpet backing, carpet padding and adhesives. But it can be difficult to know if your carpet contains harmful substances. Believe it or not, manufacturers don’t have to disclose the presence of carpet toxins and carcinogens to retailers or consumers.
Stain repellent treatments (such as ScotchGard) are applied to both broadloom – or “sheet” – carpets and to carpet tiles – a modular type of carpeting more common in offices and businesses.
Stain repellent ingredients can include PFAS – poly – and perfluoroalkyl substances – that are classified as reproductive and developmental toxicants.
In response to outcry from consumers and regulators, a type of PFAS called “long-chain” PFAS were completely banned in 2008. However, researchers have discovered that “short-chain” PFAS used as alternatives may be just as harmful – and are listed as such by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control…..more here