It is sad when articles ("AF company strives to make carpet truly safe," AFN, Aug. 31) that are nothing more than commercials or advertisements for new companies trying to survive in the Ahwatukee Foothills, or elsewhere for that matter, gets put up on the web as expert information. Unfortunately, a lot of nonsensical information that the "chemicals" used by the average carpet cleaners are bad for you is out there, in much the same way that the term steam cleaning is used, when in fact, no one uses steam to clean carpets (true steam would melt nylon and olefin carpets). The actual industry terminology is hot water extraction, the term steam cleaning is an advertising gimmick.
I would really like to have a conversation regarding one's exposure, day in and day out, to chemical compounds and how energy efficient homes contribute to horrible indoor living environments, and how that adversely affects our immune systems. The reality of the brown cloud that is in everyone's home is crazy bad for us, especially during this part of the year when no one opens up their homes and allows them to breath. After just 24 hours in a closed up home, the indoor air quality is worse than an air advisory day in any major metropolitan area due to the off gassing of VOCs released by the manufactured items we have in our homes. Even with our air conditioning systems the air is just recirculated, not effectively cleansed.
The daily exposure is really bad for us. Simply opening a door or window on each side of the home for 20 minutes each day greatly reduces these exposures.
The reality of carpet cleaning is that the detergents (note that I didn't use the term "chemicals") that are used to wash the carpets are no different than what most people use to wash their clothes when doing laundry. That being the case, with clothing being next to your skin pretty much 24 hours a day, as opposed to your actual contact with carpet during the same time, one would be very sick regularly from the contact with clothing if the information in this article were true. If carpets are cleaned properly, the "gunk" removed is similar to cleaning the filters in your air conditioner and contribute to a much cleaner indoor environment.
Carpets are designed to trap, hide and hold soil and pollutants. The more often they are cleaned the cleaner the indoor environment. When cleaned properly there is minimal residual detergent left behind. Most people only clean because the carpets look dirty.
A renowned indoor environmental and air quality expert, Dr. Michael Berry, recently authored an article in Cleanfax, an industry trade magazine, where he states that the problem with "Green Cleaning" is that due to the lack of actual cleaning components in these products, the products don't actually clean the environmental and bio hazard substances out of the carpets.
The continued exposure to what is left behind is far worse than any exposure to the residual detergents and spotting agents left from the carpet cleaning.
To suggest that the bulk of the carpet cleaning industry knows different and is hiding it from the public is wrong and dare I say slanderous.
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