You may have heard or read that it’s best to use low VOC paints, but what exactly are VOCs?
Volatile organic compounds or VOCs are substances found in paints, pharmaceuticals, refrigerants, and so on. They’re also common ground-water contaminants, and when inhaled, could cause a variety of short- and long-term adverse health effects.
VOCs may also be present in dry-cleaned clothes, hobby supplies, wood preservatives, and carpets. That being said, if you’re looking for the best floor covering, you should consider a low VOC carpet.
Read on to learn more about low VOC carpets, plus tips on reducing VOCs in your home.
What’s a Low VOC Carpet?
As its name implies, a low VOC carpet has low levels of VOCs.
Earlier, it was mentioned that inhaling VOCs could cause adverse health effects. These include respiratory disorders such as nasal and pharyngeal irritations, asthma, and allergies. It has also been linked to leukemia, liver and kidney damage, as well as certain cancers.
Now, if you’re considering a recarpeting project, it’s best to prioritize children’s rooms and bedrooms. Most eco-friendly carpet choices are low VOC, but if you don’t know where to buy the best ones, you can check product descriptions. Be sure to look for carpets and area rugs without synthetic latex backing, glues, and moth treatments.
If you’re super sensitive to chemicals, you may also want to avoid flooring and floor treatments using detergents, bleach, or dyes.
Some Tips for Reducing VOCs in Your Home
Besides looking for the best carpets with low or zero VOCs, you can protect yourself and your family from VOC-related adverse effects by using nontoxic paint.
Remember, VOCs are more concentrated indoors. So it’s best to opt for paints and finishes that don’t emit VOCs beyond the acceptable limits.
Another way to reduce VOCs includes opening your windows. Yes, it may sound like a simple solution, but it works to keep your home’s indoor air quality better. You should also make sure to change your air filters, throw away old paints and other similar products, and opt for low VOC flooring finishes and sealers.
A Word on Carpet Installation
Even after finding the perfect low VOC carpet for the home, you still have to think about how to install it.
Carpet installation uses products that could increase the level of VOCs in your home. For example, not all carpet pads are VOC-free. The good news is there are low VOC padding options such as untreated wool or felted wool.
It’s also worth researching alternatives such as cork tiles, and of course, don’t forget about your flooring choice as well. The greener your flooring material (e.g., bamboo, laminate, engineered wood flooring), the less likely it will emit harmful VOCs.
Home Safe Home
A low VOC carpet is one way to keep your home safe. If you want to reduce overall VOC levels in your home, though, try following the other tips we’ve shared.
For more home improvement tips and advice, we encourage you to check out our other posts.