Dear EarthTalk: I like the feel of carpeting, but I’m concerned about all the chemicals. What are some good nonchemical (but still soft!) options? — Jennifer Jones, Madison, Wisc.
Modern day carpets, in all their plush and stain-resistant glory, are wonders of technology and help make our homes and workplaces more comfortable. But the typical carpet, made from petroleum-based synthetic fibers, contains dozens of chemicals and gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other potential toxins—and they can compromise indoor air quality for years on end and cause dangerous reactions in the sensitive among us, including little ones and the elderly.