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Air quality in homes often substandard: special carpet ensures cleaner indoor air

20 June 2011

DESSO®, the Dutch carpet manufacturer, is introducing a new type of carpet for the consumer market specially designed to improve the air quality inside homes. Indoor air quality is often far from ideal, largely due to airborne dust particles or particulate matter. After reviewing scientific evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that, in particular, high concentrations of airborne particulate matter can contribute to health-related problems*.

The new type of carpet, called AirMaster, is up to eight times more effective in trapping particulate matter than hard floors and up to four times more effective than a standard carpet. This was the conclusion of a study conducted by the independent German testing institute GUI**. AirMaster® therefore creates a significant improvement of the indoor climate and reduces the risk of health-related problems.

Particulate matter: a major problem for indoor climates
Since people spend a large part of their day indoors, good air quality in homes and other buildings is essential. On average, we spend more than 90% of our time indoors. 'DESSO AirMaster®significantly reduces the amount of dust and particulate matter that floats around indoors. The World Health Organization* has warned that it is particularly hazardous to inhale particulate matter,' according to Desso Chief Commercial Officer, Alexander Collot d'Escury. 'Miniscule dust particles end up in the lungs, the smallest particles even in the bloodstream, and this could have serious consequences for human health.' Scientific research also shows that particulate matter can cause asthma in children***.

An active policy to fight poor air quality
DAAB, the German Allergy and Asthma Association, has been pointing out for some time that the harmful effects of particulates indoors will be substantially reduced when carpet is used as a floor covering instead of hard floors. Research conducted in 100 homes also showed that an average airborne particulate concentration in rooms with hard floors was 60 micrograms/m³ (µg/m³) as opposed to only 30 µg/m³ for carpet. This means that in rooms with hard floors, the average particulate concentration is even higher than the legally permitted limit outdoors (50 µg/m³)*.

Independently tested
AirMaster® was developed over the past year and has undergone extensive testing by the independent German testing institute GUI**. This study showed that AirMaster's patented technology is up to eight times more effective in trapping particulate matter than hard floors and four times more effective than a standard carpet. Tests conducted by Philips Floor Care and BOND Textile Research indicated that particulates become detached much more easily from this new product during vacuuming than from a standard carpet. From this, we can conclude that the filtering effect of DESSO AirMaster® is guaranteed to remain at an optimum level ****.

DESSO AirMaster® becomes available in June
AirMaster® will become available in June from more than 800 affiliated Desso dealers in the Netherlands and Belgium. It will then be introduced in other Western European countries during the remainder of the year. AirMaster® was developed by Desso in the Netherlands and is fully patented.

* Air quality guidelines - global update 2005, World Health Organization.
** GUI is an independent German testing institute specialised in analysing air quality in indoor and outdoor climate,s and conducts research for such organisations as the German Allergy and Asthma Association (DAAB). GUI conducted testing that compared AirMaster, a standard PVC hard floor and a standard structured loop pile carpet. Measurements of particulate concentration were conducted on particulates having an aerodynamic diameter of 10μm (PM10 and smaller)
*** Research into the quality of the indoor environment in primary schools, Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment; Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science; Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs, Public Health and the Environment; Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (2007).
**** The use of a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter is recommended.

 

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