Wool, the best carpet choice for Allergy and Asthma sufferers
11 November 2013 | Helpful tips and hints
There are many benefits to natural wool fibre. Not only is it incredibly soft and comfortable, there is also the benefit of natural wool fibre being fire retardant, eco-friendly and biodegradable. Above all of this, the biggest benefit of natural wool fibre is to your health.
The two main health issues that seem to affect a person’s decision on floor coverings are allergies and asthma and both of these health issues are influenced by the quality of air we breathe. There has been a long held perception that carpet has a negative impact on air quality and that perception has led people to make drastic changes in their flooring and avoid carpet all together. So, it was great news to finally have this perception put to rest when in 2005, The German Asthma and Allergy Foundation (DAAB) released their findings showing conclusively that carpet reduces dust in the air to more than half that found above hard surfaces. Some people with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as Eczema react to synthetic fibres but for allergy and asthma sufferers, it is the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and overall particulate matter (small particles of matter that float in the air we breathe) which is of main concern. So whether it be sensitive skin or sensitive airways you can’t go past natural wool fibre for optimal health.
How does natural wool fibre help those with allergies?
For those that suffer allergies the biggest issue seems to be the dust that is generated. It is not so much the dust itself, it is this little creature called a dust mite and it is not so much the dust mite itself that is the biggest cause of the problem, it is more their waste. It is the faeces of the dust mite that contains proteins that when we breath it in, we absorb these proteins which a significant percentage of our population are allergic too. Now whether or not you are allergic to dust mite poo or not, I’m sure most people are not fond of the idea of absorbing in anyway, another creatures faecal matter. For hard floors the dust is kicked back up into the air, for carpet the dust it trapped.
Natural wool fibre is also non-synthetic, so it is easy on your skin. Through its coil like fibres it dissipates moisture making it hypo-allergenic. It is resistant to bacteria, mould and mildew which is another trigger for many people with allergies. The lack of moisture in wool makes it harder for dust mites to survive and thrive.
How does natural wool fibre help those with asthma?
Although wool carpet will reduce the dust mites population, if there is humidity in the air they will continue to slowly multiply. Carpet is ideal for limiting the dust mites impact on our health by keeping it and its defecation predominately out of the air we breathe and in the carpet. With a good vacuum twice a week (with a quality non-bristle vacuum cleaner) and a professional clean every 12-18 months, we keep the dust mite population at bay and our air clean and healthy.
A good carpet not only limits dust mites and their waste in the air we breathe but also traps other particulate matter (small particles of matter that float in the air) such as smoke produced by cigarettes, the fire place or just general cooking, chemicals produced by cleaning agents, cosmetics, deodorants, gases produced by photocopiers, laser printers and new building material; as well as toxins such as sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide.
For asthma sufferers it is important they get the best air they can and a well maintained wool carpet is the best choice for flooring in order to accomplish that goal.
If you look after your carpet, it will look after you, and a well maintained woollen carpet can continue purifying your air for up to 30 years, so talk to the flooring experts at Andersen’s about your flooring options so you and your family can live in health and style.