Sleeping in a room with new carpeting may not be a good idea. New carpets tend to come with an odd smell primarily caused by the chemicals used to make them.
At room temperature, the chemicals, also known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), emit pollutants through evaporation.
As the new rug releases the odors, they enter the indoor air and into your lungs through breathing. The new carpet smell is dangerous because its fumes can make you nauseous and dizzy.
Understanding the manufacturing process of carpets can make it easier for you to know why sleeping in a room with a new floor cover can be unsafe.
Carpet manufacturers use a lot of synthetic material. They also use a lot of heat to apply adhesives and dyes. It is this method of making carpets that introduces toxic chemicals to your home.
Is there formaldehyde in a new carpet?
Formaldehyde is a VOC and one of the many chemicals used to make carpets. Its primary function is to serve as a resin hardener.
But since manufacturers have different methods of making these floor covers, it is not easy to determine the amount of formaldehyde in carpets. In the USA, for example, there is no formaldehyde in carpets.
Companies haven’t used it in carpets since 1978. However, this organic compound can get into your flooring through padding and the adhesives used during the installation.
You may want to avoid gluing down your carpet since glues have formaldehyde.
Is a new carpet smell harmful?
The new carpet smell or odor is known as off-gassing. Off-gassing can be a challenge to people who are sensitive to bad smells. But others may interpret it as an unpleasant odor.
Also, a new carpet will produce some VOCs, specifically 4-phenylcyclohexane (4-PCH). 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH) is a synthetic latex binder used to hold the carpet backing together.
Also, VOCs consist of an array of chemicals, many of which are in household products like vinyl flooring, paint, and pressed-wood furniture.
Since VOCs are pollutants, they can become airborne during vacuuming or other activities like walking on the floor coverings.
The new carpet outgassing can be harmful to human health in various ways. It can cause many ailments, including:
- Respiratory tract irritation
- Eye irritation
The pollutants can also affect your central nervous system.
Can new carpet smell make you sick?
If you have installed a wall-to-wall carpet, understand that it is made from a synthetic material derived from petrochemicals.
Also, if you glued it down, the adhesives you used will off-gas and produce odors. When you combine the chemicals used, they will release into the air and cause some health effects.
Although the amount released in the air is small, some of the new carpet fumes symptoms can include:
- Burning eyes
With various toxic chemicals outgassing from your carpet, including the cleaning agents, the carpeting becomes a primary source of indoor air pollution.
How to get rid of the new carpet smell
You can eliminate the new carpet odor in various ways, including:
1. Use an air purifier
While an HVAC system can help, using a standalone air purifier is the best option. A good air purifier will trap the VOCs and purify the air to make it clean and healthy to breathe.
HVAC systems can also work, but you will have to install special filters to remove the chemicals from the air.
We have compiled a list of the best air purifiers for VOCs to help you in eliminating these smells. Make sure to select the right one for your specific room size.
Start by ventilating the carpeted area. On average, it takes about 48 hours for the smell to finish in your home after installation.
But your house must be well-ventilated at room temperature. However, give it at least five days for the odor to dissipate.
3. Use fans during installation
The essential part is to get rid of the smell when installing the floor covering.
This will help to reduce the odor and prevent outgassing when sleeping in the room.
4. Get rid of the wall-to-wall carpet
Where possible, remove the wall-to-wall carpet and synthetic area rugs.
People who have severe reactions to the chemicals should consider this option to avoid further health complications.
5. Replace the carpet with nontoxic flooring
A practical solution is to remove the entire carpet and replace it with prefinished hardwood or ceramic tile. Although it is expensive, it will eliminate the smell.
The good thing about this is that cleaning is easier and it doesn’t hold in dust particles which can be harmful to your respiratory system.
Sleeping in a room with a new carpet may not be healthy for humans. The floor coverings release VOCs that can cause various ailments, including headache, dizziness, and burning eyes.
To protect yourself, consider ventilating your room or use an air purifier to remove the VOCs from indoor air.