Carpet and Asthma: What’s The Deal?
So, for years we were told not to have carpet. We were told that wood flooring, or tile flooring, or linoleum, were better for asthma. There’s a good reason for this. However, new evidence says that carpeting may not be so bad for asthmatics after all. So, here’s what to know about carpet and asthma.
What the experts say about carpet and asthma
They say, when it comes to allergies and asthma, carpets are harmful. This is because carpet may harbor pollutants, such as dust mites, pollen, animal dander, and other allergens. These things can easily become airborne and inhaled. This is especially true when vacuuming.
The remedy here is a different type of flooring. Ideal flooring includes wood, tile, and linoleum. There is a good reason we are told hard floors are ideal for asthmatics. It’s because hard floors can be easily mopped clean. This can keep the air free and clear of potential allergens and asthma triggers.
This is what They always say. By they, I mean everybody says this. The American Lung Association says it. Allergyliving.com says it. Like, every credible allergy and asthma organization says it. So, it’s gotta be true, right?1,2
It's fair to say this is the conventional wisdom.
What do others say about carpet and asthma?
But, I've always been one to question conventional wisdom. Just because everyone else is saying something doesn't necessarily make it true. In fact, if everyone is thinking the same thing, then something is probably wrong. It’s moments like these that get me to thinking things like: does this make sense? Are hard floors really ideal for asthmatics?
Personally, I have always had carpet in my homes. The type of carpet I use is low shag. I have never had an issue with this. My kids haven’t even had an issue with this. Plus, when you sweep wood, tile, and linoleum floors, dust gets airborne then too. Dust and debris creeps up no matter what kind of flooring you have.
My hypothesis here is this is that low shag carpet is fine for people with asthma. So, I set off on to investigate in the wide, wide world of Google.
What the carpet sellers say
I initially got the idea from a blogger. It was a blog at Johnson Memorial Health. The blogger sited three sources that noted studies showing some carpets, when cleaned properly, were just fine for asthma.3
One of the sources, Medscape, is a very credible source, at least in my book. The article, "Properly cleaned carpeting okay for people with asthma," was about a 2012 study. It concluded a good carpet cleaning significantly reduced allergen levels inside carpet and in carpeted rooms.4
Do you find that having carpet is bothersome for your asthma?
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