When we were searching for a home in Florida, one of the things I noticed was how almost every house had tile floors. An alarm went off right away in my mind knowing this could be an issue with 3 young active boys. I love the idea of no rugs, as many can attract dust, mold and mites, but I also love the idea of having padded flooring that creates a bit of safety and coziness in a home. My search for a toxin free area rug began and it was not an easy one! I needed a simple, practical solution that wasn’t going to break the bank.

Why was I on this search? I came to find out HOW toxic most rugs actually were. Here is what I found:

  • Most all rugs are made of materials like polypropylene, nylon, and polyester. Because these materials are synthetic, there are most likely many chemicals attached during the process the materials go through before and while becoming a rug.
  • Rugs are manufactured with flame retardants and their chemical residues, which are extremely toxic, and can do more harm than good.
  • Natural materials like cotton and wool can also be an issue. Wool tends to harbor moisture which can breed mold and bugs. Both materials have a high risk of pesticide exposure from the way they were grown and sourced.
  • Toxic colorants are almost always used on rugs and can be dangerous as they offer high amounts of toxic fumes and even heavy metals exposure.
  • Synthetic glues and rubber backings can contain many harmful substances such as Formaldehyde, that can lead to allergies, hormone disruption and endocrine disorders.
  • Like fire retardants, other chemicals are sprayed on rugs such as water repellants and sealants which contain Perfluorochemicals (PFCs). PFCs are in the family as the toxic teflon, and have been linked to Hormone disruption, cancer and liver toxicity.

I also knew that when a rug arrived I didn’t have the time or space to let it off-gas for days, trying to remove the toxic smell that would fill my home. I found a great article that led me to a perfect medium that would suit our needs. I went with the Safavieh collection, and chose the Safavieh Classic Vintage Collection CLV121C Blue Cotton Area Rug, which I found on Amazon. I must say it is thinner and could use a toxin free pad, but upon arrival the smell was minimal and dissipated within a day or two. (I let it sit on the lanai for a day to be extra safe). It’s a beautiful blue color and over all I’ve been so happy with it, especially knowing we are not breathing in the toxic VOCs that emit from most carpets.

In the end I’d say the one thing to keep in mind most when purchasing rugs, furniture and mattresses is to ensure they are free of all flame retardants! These are so hard on the body and tend to linger on our systems and even have shown up in blood tests. And as always, find the balance and do the best you can at the price you can afford, God will take care of the rest.