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Health Implications Of Dirty Carpets

Dust mites and dirt aren’t the only reasons to have your carpets professionally cleaned. It isn’t nice to think about, but dirty carpets can make you or a family member sick. When chemicals, pathogens, and other contaminants get trapped in carpet, the scary truth is bacteria, viruses, allergens, and tobacco smoke particles can survive on carpet fibres for weeks, causing health problems.

Bacteria on the Bottom of Shoes

Many bacteria get transferred to carpet from the bottom of your shoes. A study at the University of Arizona identified nine different bacteria on shoes. It’s bad enough these bacteria can make you sick, but researchers found they survive longer on shoes. Your shoes not only pick up bacteria, they also pick up the food bacteria feed on.

Salmonella is a common infection that gets tracked indoors. Although many people tend to think of salmonella as a food-borne illness, the bacteria live in soil and water.

Salmonella infections are nothing to fool with, as they can cause symptoms such as fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramps. While symptoms may last for only a few days, it can take months for your lower intestinal tract to get back to normal following an infection.

Toxins in Tobacco Smoke

Carpet and upholstered furnishings absorb harmful toxins found in tobacco smoke. The problem is when tobacco burns, it releases nicotine as a vapor.

A study led by researchers at the Berkeley Lab found that the vapor reacts with indoor air pollutants to produce cancer-causing agents. To make matters worse, the toxic chemicals in smoke, which include carcinogens, poisonous gases, and metals harmful to health, can remain behind in carpet long after you put out a cigarette.

Babies and young children who crawl and play on the floor are at particular risk of the dangers from third-hand smoke, which can become more toxic over time as it lingers in carpets. Cancer and delayed brain development are just some of the potential health risks to small children who come in contact with the carpet.

Mould Under Carpets

Carpets that get wet or moist can become a breeding ground for mould. The combination of dirty carpets and high humidity levels in your home also increase the risk of mould developing.

Getting rid of unwanted moisture is the best way to reduce the risk of mould growing under carpets. If it’s a job you can’t handle alone, professional carpet cleaners use tools that not only clean, but also dry your carpets thoroughly.

Allergens Trapped in Carpet Fibres

Carpet often gets blamed for aggravating breathing problems related to allergies, asthma, and emphysema, as toxic airborne gases stick to dirt, pet dander, and pollen particles that get trapped in carpet fibres.

If bare hard floor surfaces aren’t to your liking, a low-pile style carpet may prevent your allergy symptoms from flaring up. Regularly vacuuming and steam cleaning carpets can help improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens that trigger respiratory problems. Deep cleaning, done by a reputable cleaning company in your area, reaches particles imbedded in carpet that vacuuming alone can’t reach.

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