Just switch on any news channel in India. Air pollution and its consequences are prominent everywhere. Everybody is speaking with grave concern over the rising pollution levels in New Delhi. Now you would say what is the relationship between air pollution and dirty carpets. A lot would be made clear from the things that are going to follow.
New Delhi being the capital of the country hits the headlines every now and then for rising pollution levels. The truth is there are many cities which are much more polluted than New Delhi. Take the instance of Kanpur, for many years in a row it has been the most polluted city in India. Particulate matter in the Kanpur air is 173, which is 17 times more than that recommended by the WHO.
Air Pollution & Dirty Carpets?
Where do you think all the filth in your office carpets comes from? Its a mix of daily traffic in your office and the air present in the city. With such high levels of particulate matter in the air it is natural for the carpets to soak them.
You think your carpet is clean because it looks so. However, the truth is that it is a pollution magnet. Carpets attract suspended particles from the air.
At the same time, the adverse effects of carpeted floors on perceived indoor air quality as well as the worsening of symptoms in individuals with asthma and allergies were reported. Avoiding extensive carpet use in offices, schools, kindergartens, and bedrooms has therefore been recommended by several health authorities.
More recently, carpet producers have argued that former assessments were obsolete and that modern rug is unproblematic, even for those with asthma and allergies. To investigate whether the recommendation to be cautious with the use of carpets is still valid, or whether there are new data supporting that carpet flooring do not present a problem for indoor air quality and health, experts at NCBI have reviewed the literature on this matter.
We have not found updated peer-reviewed evidence that carpeted floor is unproblematic for the indoor environment. On the contrary, also more recent data support that carpets may act as a repository for pollutants which may become resuspended upon activity in the carpeted area. Also, the use of carpets is still linked to the perception of reduced indoor air quality as well as adverse health effects as previously reported.
To our knowledge, there are no publications that report on the deposition of pollutants and adverse health outcomes associated with modern rugs. However, due to the three-dimensional structure of carpets, any carpet will to some extent act as a sink. Thus, continued caution should still be exercised when considering the use of wall-to-wall carpeted floors in schools, kindergartens, and offices, as well as in children’s bedrooms unless special needs indicate that carpets are preferable.
You need to get your carpets professionally cleaned more often, in fact in India we as professional carpet cleaners suggest getting your carpets cleaned on a monthly basis. Looking at the air pollution levels it would be wise not to take any risks with the health of your team.