Carpet scores high on health and safety, acoustics and comfort, and environmental benefits. And, new research shows carpet no more likely to transfer bacteria than hard surface floors.
Titled, “These Factors Drive School Carpet Success,” the article describes how “carpet is a better choice for schools than most commonly used flooring materials.”Among the factors that make it the preferred choice, the article lists sustainability, health concerns, safety issues, ergonomic considerations, and acoustic performance.
Under sustainability, the article stresses the importance of proper cleaning and maintenance: “Properly maintained carpeting stays in use and out of the waste stream longer, contributing to lower lifecycle costs. Furthermore, when product, installation, and maintenance supplies and labor costs are considered over a 15-to-20-year period, carpet delivers lower lifecycle costs than other floor covering.”
On the issue of carpet and health, interesting new research from the healthcare design industry shows that carpet is no more likely to transfer bacteria than hard surface floors. “One recent study reported that carpet surfaces are no more likely to transmit infections than hard surfaces. In fact, it was suggested that certain hard-surface floors may have higher potential to transmit infections. While no cause could be defined for this observation, one theory proposes that a carpet's textured surface limits hand-surface contact area and that the tendency of carpet to increase the contact time of cleaning solutions allows them to perform more effectively. Further, it has been suggested that carpet appears to sequester biocontaminants, keeping them out of the range of contact for transmission and out of the breathing zone.”
On the related issues of carpet’s effect on asthma and allergy and indoor air quality, the article states: “To date, carpet has not been proven to provoke asthma and/or allergies. Its low VOC levels improve the indoor air quality.
In fact, carpet may emit the lowest levels of VOC among common flooring choices and is one of the lowest-emitting products used in new construction and renovation-much lower than products such as paint. Carpet certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Plus program emits very low levels of VOCs for very short periods of time and is unlikely to act as an allergy activator.
Quite simply, the science available today concludes that carpet may be less likely to transmit infections than hard-surface floors, does not cause asthma or allergies, and does not increase the incidence or severity of asthma and/or allergy symptoms.”