Carpets and health are not often thought of together, but this is often the case. One of the reasons why a carpet can have health risks is through an allergic reaction to dust, pollen, mould, mildew or other allergens that can be found in your home. If you suffer from asthma or allergies, you need to be aware that carpets and health are closely connected. Carpets can create health risks of their own.
Pollen, dust mites, mould and pet dander are some of the most common allergy triggers and they can all create health problems for you and/or your family members. It is not uncommon for people who are suffering from asthma or allergies to have symptoms that include sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. This is due to the fact that the lungs have become overworked and a trigger is being found. Carpets and health can also be linked to irritant allergies, such as the common atopic dermatitis that affects the nose, eyes and skin. With these types of allergies, symptoms include watery eyes, swollen glands, itching, redness and inflammation of the skin.
Another form of allergies that are commonly seen in people who suffer from asthma is reactions to dust mites. The carpet can pick up the dust mites and release them into the air when a person walks through it. Since these particles are tiny, they can easily become trapped in the carpet and cause an allergic reaction. These allergic reactions can range from mild to serious and should not be ignored. In fact, carpet and health should be considered a critical factor in the decision to install new carpets in a home.
Carpeting also creates health risks due to the bacterial and fungal infections that can occur. Bacterial infections can be very harmful, especially to those with compromised immune systems. These can include infants and children, elderly individuals and those with medical issues. Carpeting can also create a favourable environment for bacteria and fungus growth because it is damp and offers a lot of space for bacteria and fungus to grow. Fungi can cause serious respiratory problems, including severe itching, sneezing, nasal congestion, coughing and watery eyes. Carpet can also promote the development of mould and mildew in the home which are very dangerous for health.
Other health risks associated with carpeting and health are allergic reactions to perfumes, dyes, chemicals and pesticides. These chemicals can easily seep into the air, easily circulating throughout a home. Inhaling this air can cause a release of histamines which cause the sufferer to become easily irritated and in some cases develop an asthma attack. Carpet can also allow the presence of mould and mildew to grow, which is very dangerous for health. If these substances are not removed from the carpet, then they can grow and begin to produce toxins that can cause a host of health problems.
There are other health risks that can be present when a person has an allergy to carpeting. Exposure to certain types of pollen can cause a serious asthmatic reaction in some cases that can be lethal. This type of allergy is not usually found in carpeting but can be present if there is exposure to grass and weeds in the yard that has not been properly cleaned. As well as allergies, the residue of cleaning products can contain toxins that can irritate the skin or even cause acne in some people. Allergy attacks can also be caused when the carpeting becomes dirty or grimy and therefore requires regular cleaning.
The health risks associated with carpeting is great enough to warrant investing in replacement or repaired carpets rather than attempting to live with the symptoms. Carpets can contribute to breathing problems by trapping excessive amounts of dust, air and pollen. If there is a high level of dust in the home, the lungs will become polluted with dirt particles. For those who have breathing difficulties or allergies, carpets and health should be a top priority. Anyone with a dust allergy should consider replacing their carpets to alleviate their symptoms. The symptoms for dust allergy sufferers are similar to asthma and include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, congestion, and asthma-like symptoms.
A final issue that is more to do with carpets and health than health hazards is possible bacterial infections. Certain breeds of carpet are more susceptible to bacteria than others and these contain an excess of moisture which can attract unwanted microbes. Carpets can contribute to respiratory illnesses if they are not properly maintained and cleaned. A healthy home that is free of bacteria can help to prevent illness and discomfort. Carpets and health are intertwined and should be considered when remodelling any room.