Wool Improves Indoor Air Quality
February 26, 2016
The buildup of indoor air contaminants has been a growing concern since the 1970s. It was then that energy conservation methods were introduced, which minimized the flow of outside air into homes and buildings. Less access to outside air increases the concentration of contaminants in an indoor space, making the air unhealthy – even toxic.
Although many materials, including carpet, pass tests for minimum volatile organic chemical emissions, wool goes a giant step further by absorbing the contaminants irreversibly in its structure, improving the quality of indoor air.
The complex chemistry of wool fiber enables it to bind pollutant gases chemically in its structure, including formaldehyde, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, and lock them into its core without re-releasing them. As such, wool improves indoor air and creates healthier working and living environments. It has been estimated that wool carpets can continue purifying indoor air for up to 30 years.
New Zealand researchers, using a controlled environmental chamber, have demonstrated that wool carpet can reduce high levels of introduced formaldehyde to virtually zero in four hours.
Studies by the U.S. Gas Research Institute, which compared 35 building and furnishing materials, showed that wool carpets have one of the highest removal rates of nitrogen dioxide. In contrast, the removal rate of synthetic carpets was less than half that of wool.
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