Clean Carpet Benefits IAQ
(03/21/2012)

RACINE, Wis. — Properly cleaned carpet can improve indoor air quality and reduce airborne particulates and allergens, according to a report by the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ).

The report, presented at the ISIAQ's International Conference on Indoor Air and Climate, showcased research compiled by Racine Industries, maker of the Host Dry Extraction System.

“Everything that we’ve done over the years point to the fact that carpet is a benefit to the indoor environment if you are concerned about indoor air quality and allergens,” said Geoff Greeley, vice president of business development for Racine Industries.

The studies show that carpet can act as a filter to trap dust, dirt and allergens, compared to a hard flooring material where particulates can redistribute into the environment and affect air quality.

One study in the overview highlighted research gathered throughout nine years in 166 homes and 16 schools. The research found that carpet cleaning removed about 75 to 99 percent of the dust mite, cat and mold allergens from the carpet.

In another study conducted throughout 10 schools over a three-year period in six states, carpet cleaning with the Host system reduced levels of carpet dust by more than 90 percent. In addition, in 13 of the classrooms tested, carpet cleaning reduced the spore load by 99 percent.

“Think of carpet as a big giant filter in the room, office or building. It’s doing the job of filtering the air and grabbing what’s been brought in on people’s shoes from outside,” Greeley said. “But it does reach a point where you should clean it. That becomes the important part.”

In addition to dust and allergens, moisture in the indoor environment affects air quality, he said. Water-based carpet cleaning processes can create humidity imbalances that lead to mold growth.

Racine’s Host Dry Extraction System uses a cleaning product that works through the carpet, acting as a sponge to absorb dust, dirt and allergens. A vacuum incorporated into the machine features a six-stage filtration system to prevent contaminants from reentering the environment.

Racine’s Host Dry Extraction System’s cleaning compound is a mixture of moisture, cleaning agents, and recycled organic fibers that work as tiny sponges to absorb dirt and allergens from the carpet. The compound is worked through the carpet with a brushing machine. A vacuum incorporated into the machine gathers the debris and features a six-stage filtration system to prevent contaminants from reentering the environment.

“We don’t introduce a lot of moisture, and our system has been shown through scientific research and study to effectively remove these dust mites and mold spores and other allergens, as well as the dirt,” Greeley said.

Privately held Racine Industries introduced its initial dry extraction carpet cleaning method in 1938. Its HOST product is Green Seal certified and also holds USDA certification as a 100 percent bio-based product.

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