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Back when I was getting my BS in Microbiology I had the opportunity to learn about a thing called, “sick buildings”. These are structures that literally make the occupants sick. Don’t get excited it wasn’t the interior decorating… well not completely. The direct causes of illness tended to be lead paint, asbestos, and black fungus in the swamp cooler. However, the cause that I find most fascinating and important to the general public is the danger of wall to wall carpeting.
Let’s take a look at the microscopic environment of your carpet. Every carpet has fungus. As shocking as that sounds, both common sense and scientific studies back it up. Fungal spores that were picked up from outside, drop off clothing and shoes, and make their way deep into the carpet. For the fungus to proliferate only one spill from glass of water is required. The owner of the carpet might quickly dry the spot, but if the water has socked through the wicking of the carpet at all, it is already too late. The fungus can now grow on the pad of the carpet, hidden from view, proliferating and releasing spores as it pleases. The same is true with many types of bacteria including: Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and E. coli.
Dust mites also thrive in carpeted homes. Dead skin and hair drifts from the body 24 hours a day, most of it falls into clothing and bedding but a huge portion also drifts into the carpet. Dust mites, microscopic relatives of the spider, then feed on the debris. While many people are allergic to dust mites it is also important to keep in mind that a dust mite allergy can be acquired in someone who has never had that allergy previously.
If you or a member of your family is suffering from an illness that doesn’t seem to abate or if your or a member of your family have chronic allergies, removing the carpet should be your first step.
Please, see my next article on how to remove carpeting