Healthy non-toxic carpet and underlay?(20 Posts)
We had decided and indeed ordered 80/20 and 12mm underlay (cloud 9 or something). There is a problem with the order so I have the chance to change it and...since taking the decision I've been working on my health and without going into that I've been turning my attention to environmental factors amongst other things. I now have my doubts about introducing chemical coated furnishings but I am having trouble understanding what makes for a good or better choice of carpet in terms of toxins.
Downstairs we have solid flooring. We felt we the comfort of wool carpet elsewhere. Is it inpregnated with lots of anti-fungal and fire retardant chemicals. Or is it the underlay that will 'gas-off'more than wool carpet. Does anyone know more?
I don't know, but we've had that type of underlay with wool mix carpets and the only smell was the new carpet smell from the wool.
I'm confused? We have those bleachable synthetic carpets and I know they give of fumes when first layer but after a day or so of airing they go?
I have the worlds most chemically sensitive child and I would consider cork flooring (softer and warmer than wood, but watch the glue..) with unbleached organic wool rugs....
(I am desperate for a new sofa and dare not as I cannot imagine bringing new soft man made fibres - foam being a particular issue - into our house. FWIW, my son is healthier on his coconut fibre mattress, wooden floorboards and old wool rugs)
I was told, about 5 years ago. That Laura Ashley carpets are the best for not having toxins....
Probably worth a look? I imagine they are relatively expensive though.
Thank you, I will make some phone calls tomorrow to try and find out more about the chemicals present in the products I'm looking at. I have not worried about this sort of thing in the past but health problems are having me question everything.
There are no EU or UK flammability requirements for carpets which means there is no need for manufacturers to stuff them full of flame retardant chemicals. But that doesn't mean carpets don't contain flame retardants. Flame retardant producers are very influential and manage to get all kinds of manufacturers to use their products even when they don't have to. I suspect this is a result of FR companies telling them that they're at risk of getting sued if a fire starts in their products. Manufacturers of curtains and blinds certainly use flame retardants even though again there is no flammability requirement. Almost certainly will be the same with carpets. Best to ask the retailer/manufacturer if the use them. But be persistent: it's quite possible whoever you speak to will just say 'no' without checking.
The carpet won't spontaneously combust. But if the ciggy or joss stick gets dropped, then flame retardant begins to look like a good idea ..
I worked on an Eco house last year and researched this for the clients - there are various alternatives including wool underlay and naturally dyed wool carpets - look at the Lake District Wool carpets can't remember company names off top of my head and am currently pinned down by a feeding newborn but will have a look later
To specialsubject -
If you drop a cigarette etc on to the carpet and you are awake/sober, it's simple enough to stamp it out. If you are asleep/drunk, then a) it's not likely to set the carpet alight but if it does then b) the resulting toxic fumes from the flame retardants are more likely to kill you than the flames. Flame retardants also wear off of carpets easily and get into house dust which then gets into human blood, particularly baby/children's (since the play close to the floor), causing all kinds of physical and mental problems.
General idea of flame retardant is that the fire does not take hold...
I can't find anything that says that UK (if that is where you are ) carpets need to be flame resistant, which may be why it is only the yank sites that mention any worries. So some untreatred wool should be obtainable. Probably a bit smelly though, I made the mistake of buying such a rug once.
As said, there are no UK/EU requirements for carpets to be flame resistant. But that doesn't mean you won't get flame retardants in your carpets.
Actually, it's not true to say that the general idea of flame retardants is that the fire does not take hold. With the majority of house fires, the fire will eventually take hold. Flame retardant manufacturers claim that their products buy you more escape time; that the fire takes hold more slowly. However, this is questionable on several fronts. For example, only a few minutes into a fire, flame retardants are releasing incredibly toxic fumes into the house, e.g. carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. So, while you may escape the flames, the toxic gases will get you instead.
Also, as has been shown with sofas, the flame retardants are mostly ineffectual against fire spread because the way sofas are actually constructed negates their so-called properties.
Hi Lelivre, I would love to know what you decided following this post, I had such a bad experience with emissions from the last (and only) new carpet we bought that I haven't replaced any more. If you found one which was OK please let me know what it was. Thanks
There's a video somewhere on youtube comparing burning a 'synthetic' bedroom and one with wool. Wool takes a lot longer to actually catch fire and there's a lot less smoke. I'll try to find it if you're interested.
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This is an old thread that has been bumped, but we're looking for a new stair runner and would be interested if anyone has any up to date info on carpet/underlay off gassing/toxicity.
Hi. I would suggest you call Texfelt Ltd who manufacture underlay that is free from harmful Voc’s and flame retardant chemicals. I’m sure they will be able to help. As for the carpet, did you watch the Grand Designs chemical free house the other week? They definitely had carpet so you could look at the supplier list. I would certainly try to avoid any foam or products sprayed with chemicals.
Thanks @RachLouT I'll try and find the Grand Design website for info.
Wools of Cumbria carpets.and underkay.. and really helpful
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