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I've read about the health risks posed by molds, but how can one determine the risks posed by existing carpeting? Are there some testing kits for allergen and bacterial levels?

This is not the carpets vs. hardwood floor question, but rather trying to determine if carpeting might be the culprit for respiratory problems experienced in a residence.

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I think you need to know what you're looking for. Testing for mold is about all you can do, without sending samples off to a lab. $200 (homeallergentesting.com) is an expensive way to be told: yes, you own a cat.

  • If it's new carpet, it may still be offgassing.

  • If it's old carpet, especially a previous owner's, toss it without a second thought.

Disclaimer: I've never 'tested for' anything. I just proceed with the solution as if it were the problem (and my solution to anything wrong with installed carpet is putting it in the dumpster, where it belonged in the first place).

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Dan,

Here is a link to various studies about the use of carpets in homes www.hostdry.com › pdf › IAQ_research As you will find out after reading these articles carpets can serve as big filter systems, perhaps aiding in homes healthy environments - if taking appropiate steps to maintain them adequately. However if your concerns are related to an existing health problem it would be wise to have the individual suffering of such problem tested for allergies -if that is the case- as opposed to trying finding the source first. If mold is the concern, walls and ceilings are actually a better host to them than carpets and perhaps testing these areas would be wise as well before looking into carpet issues. When looking at sources of respiratory problems in a residential environment, while carpets do represent a possible source, the risk of other elements in the household and other particles in the air and physical structure of the building such as wood, insulation, and the spaces that these confine should be looked at in first place

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One of the few medical sites I really trust on the web - Mayo Clinic

Allergens:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/in-depth/allergy/art-20049365

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