The influence of carpet flooring on the indoor climate; effects on perceived air quality, symptoms and particle concentrations
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Carpet flooring is a commonly used flooring material and is becoming a trend in offices with open plan landscape. Previous studies have found relations between the presence of carpet flooring and worsening of the perceived air quality, increased severity of symptoms, and higher levels of dust and mite allergens. However, carpet producers and distributors claims that the previous knowledge is obsolete and that modern carpets no longer represent a problem for the indoor air quality. This study has explored if the presence of carpets leads to worsened perceived air quality, increased severity of symptoms, and higher concentrations of airborne particles. Untrained panels of subjects were used in the studies to assess the perceived air quality and the intensity of symptoms by answering two separate questionnaires, both when carpets were present and when carpets were absent. This was used to determine if the presence of carpets led to worsened perceived air quality and increased intensity of symptoms. Airborne particles were measured in order to explore if the presence of carpets leads to higher concentrations of airborne particles. The results showed no significant differences in the perceived air quality when carpets were present compared with no carpets. The subjects experienced 4.5 % more intensity of symptoms when carpets were present compared with no carpets, and indicated that the presence of carpets may lead to higher intensity of symptoms. The particle measurements showed no differences in particle concentrations, but indicated that carpets may contain bigger concentrations of particles compared with hard, smooth floors. People don’t seem to think about possible negative effects when choosing carpet flooring, the focus is on the noise reduction and aesthetics.
Master i energi og miljø i bygg