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My wife is pregnant. We just had new carpet installed in the soon to be baby's room. We didn't realize until after it was installed that the "new carpet smell" is actually a bad thing. From what I've read online, new carpet gives off harmful fumes, which contain VOCs, for months.

What can I do to expedite the process of removing these harmful VOCs and air out the carpet?

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I don't know how true it is but I've heard a few times that certain plants do a good job of removing VOCs from household air. You could try investigating this claim. Here's one page that mentions it.

http://www.thedailygreen.com/going-green/tips/best-plants-for-indoor-air-quality

My wife has trouble with a variety of VOCs. It might not be an option for you to store the carpet partially outstretched in your garage until most of the odour departs.

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It has already been installed, so unfortunately I cannot store it in the garage. – Andrew Jan 1 '12 at 23:03
    
@Andrew - It's actually pretty easy to pull up a non-glued carpet and then put it back later. Back when we foolishly used to put carpet in our rentals, I used to take them in the back yard for ease of cleaning. – Mazura Jan 15 at 23:02

A small window fan can be used to ventilate the room with fresh air. You should be able to find one that can be set to blow the air out the window rather than into the rest of the house.

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While it's been several years since the original post, there are now some air purifying paints on the market that might be useful for people to know about to help combat offgassing from rugs, furniture, etc. I have used ECOS Paints Interior Atmosphere Purifying Paint for my walls and ceilings (not for humid location application). It claims to absorb 98% to 99% of VOCs down to 1 ppm. MSDS available on the ECOS Paints website. There are also plug in HEPA air purifiers, of course, but we loved the idea that our paint (of all things) could help improve air quality.

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It will take some time for the VOC's to off-gas. Ventilation is one of the best things you can do. So, open the windows to allow the outside air to mix in even if cold outside.

Another option is to put an air purifier with a lot of activated carbon to absorb the VOC gases. It will likely take weeks to months for the VOC level to go down and if you can't properly ventilate the carbon will help a lot.

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have a look at this page : http://www.tepih-servis.com/en/carpet-service-belgrade/unpleasant-smell-of-new-carpet/479

a suggestion there is to sprinkle baking soda on it, leave it overnight and vac it up in the morning.

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Link only answers are discouraged, and I really don't think a single application of baking soda is going prevent offing months of VOC's – Steven Mar 27 '14 at 0:09

There are over 500 known VOCs and chemical odors associated with new carpets and new carpet odors. Typically if you do nothing the shelf life on off-gassing for a new carpet is ~ six month to a year. For a new baby or for anyone to have to breathe in this can be detrimental for their health.

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George, self promotion is frowned upon here. Good answers are also encouraged to contain all necessary information IN the post, rather than just a link. – Doresoom Jul 1 '15 at 16:52

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