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12 Health Reasons To Get Rid of Carpeting

Wall to wall carpeting causes, or contributes to, at least one dozen major, indoor environmental health problems that can be reduced by eliminating carpeting and carpet padding in homes, offices, workplaces, retail stores, and other commercial and public buildings, according to Phillip Fry and Hank Taylor, Certified Environmental Hygienists.

1. Mold growth. The deadly Stachybotrys chartarum mold and other toxic molds grow on and in wet carpeting. In addition, mold spores and mold food in the form of organic particles (such as human skin flakes) are continually landing and becoming embedded into carpet surfaces. Mold colonies can eat and thrive in most carpet and carpet padding materials. 

Certified Environmental Hygienists and Certified Mold Inspectors use special carpet mold testing equipment to determine the severity and extent of mold infestation of carpet during building maintenance and mold inspections. For local carpet inspection and testing, visit and

2. Dust and dirt accumulation.  Even with frequent vacuuming, organic and non-organic dust dirt steadily accumulates inside carpeting and carpet padding.

3. Cigarette smoke and residue. Carcinogens in cigarettes may accumulate in household carpet. Because dogs, cats, young children, and infants, often play or sleep on the floor, they may be at risk for developing lung cancer in households with cigarette smokers.

4. Human skin flakes. A personís skin sheds about one million skin flakes every day, many of which becomes embedded in carpeting to become food for dust mites, plus bacterial and mold growth.

5. Bacteria and viruses. Bacteria such as e-coli can live for more than four weeks on carpet. The Norwalk virus or Norovirus (the virus that causes serious stomach flu)
can also survive on dirty carpet for a month or more

6. Dust Mites. Carpet creates an ideal environment for dust mite populations. About 2,000 dust mites can flourish on just one ounce of carpet dust. Dust mite allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, nasal stuffiness, runny nose, stuffy ears, respiratory problems, eczema and asthma.

7. Bedbugs. Bedbugs frequently hide in carpeting during the day, and then, at nightfall, they can crawl up to 100 feet to climb into beds to feed on human blood.  Eliminating carpeting is one of the important steps to eliminate bedbugs.

8. Fleas. Pet fleas and flea eggs and larvae hide and multiply in carpeting.
Flea eggs do well in carpet that may be damp because of improper carpet drying after carpet scrubbing, high humidity, flooding, inadequate bathroom ventilation, or kitchen-generated moisture.

9. Carpet Beetles. Carpet beetle infestations can develop undetected in a homeís carpeting, with the infestations then causing big damage to the carpeting, carpet padding, upholstered furniture, bedding, clothing, and other fabric items.

10. Naphthalene. Naphthalene is commonly found in carpet cleaning compounds. In concentrated form, it can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, and urinary irritation. It is a suspected carcinogen and can be toxic to children, infants, and pets. Naphthalene is a colorless, crystalline, solid aromatic hydrocarbon with a pungent odor.

11. Vacuum cleaners. Vacuuming of carpeting spreads germs and mold spores unless the vacuum is HEPA-filtered, with the HEPA filter being replaced at least quarterly.

12. Spills. Wall-to-wall carpeting is less healthy than small area rugs because it is hard to clean up and remove moisture, chemicals, liquids, crumbs, and other spills that provide mold, bacteria, and insects with a rich and nearly continuous supply of nutrients.

As a healthy alternative to unhealthy carpeting, Phillip Fry recommends that both new home and building construction and renovations and upgrades utilize ceramic tile set into cement that contains a waterproofing compound and with tile grout that also contains waterproofing. Other healthy carpet alternatives are vinyl tile and genuine hardwood flooring that has been pre-treated to be moisture and mold-resistant. Use washable area rugs for both comfort and home decorating success.

Learn how to be trained and certified online or in class as a Certified Environmental Hygienist and/or Certified Mold Inspector, visit

For help in mold and environmental inspection and remediation anywhere in the United States or Ontario Province, phone mold expert Phillip Fry toll-free 1-866-300-1616 or Phillipís cell phone 1-480-310-7970, or email, or visit the website

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