The EPA and Carpet Care

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines the bacteria, molds, mildew, viruses, animal dander, dust mites and pollen within your carpet as "biological contaminants." There are many sources of these pollutants, including plants, people, animals, soil and plant debris, and urine (which becomes airborne when it dries). Contaminated central air systems can serve as a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which can spread these contaminants throughout your entire home.

But how can these contaminants affect our every day lives? Some biological contaminants trigger allergic reactions, including hypersensitive pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, and certain types of asthma. Also, infectious illnesses, such as influenza, measles and chicken pox are transmitted throughout the air. Specific symptoms for each of these illnesses can include sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, shortness of breath, dizziness, lethargy, fever and digestive problems.

As you may know, these allergic reactions occur as a result of continued exposure to various contaminants. To prevent such an environment, the EPA suggests to keep your house clean. Vacuuming regularly does reduce some dirt, however, vacuuming also increases the airborne levels of mite allergens and other biological contaminants. Using central vacuum systems (which are vented to the outdoors) or vacuums with high efficiency filters can reduce these airborne levels.

According to EPA research, people spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, meaning that for many people, the risks of health may be greater due to increased exposure to indoor air pollution. Also, many human activities can be a major source of air pollutants within the home. However, these health effects can range from an immediate reaction to years after exposure!

Another way to judge whether your home has developed indoor air problems is to identify potential sources of these pollutants. Although the presence of such sources does not necessarily mean that you have indoor air quality problems, being aware of the type and number of potential sources is an important step toward assessing the air quality in your home. For cleaning frequency help, check out the EPA Cleaning Schedule Chart.

*Information and suggestions those from the Environmental Protection Agency website back

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