North Carolina features wonderful neighborhoods, major urban centers and important universities. The Raleigh and Durham areas have some of the best healthcare in the United States, but residents often don’t consider the dangers that lurk in Durham’s beautiful homes. Keeping your carpet clean is important for your quality-of-life and family health, but many homeowners don’t think about the toxins that are in cleaning chemicals.
A recent report found that the average household contains 62 toxic chemicals or their residues.  Your carpeting and floors can be like a chemical factory that exposes your family to noxious fumes, toxins, bacteria and chemicals that cause asthma attacks, reproductive disorders, nerve damage, hormone disruption, and cancer.
You Don’t Lick Your Carpet After a Cleaning? Think Again.
Toxic residues can be dangerous, and the residue could wind up anywhere in your home by transference from shoes, socks, bare feet and dropped objects. The licking your carpet comment was partially a joke, but kids and infants might do so, and pets certainly do. Even adults occasionally pick up dropped food and eat it.
Carpet Chemicals and Their Dangers
There are some chemicals that simply shouldn’t be used in homes. They can cause allergic reactions, toxicity and even damage air quality. Some of the riskiest chemicals include:
- Glycol Ethers
- Propane, butane, and isobutane
- Sodium bisulfate, sodium carbonate, and sodium hydroxide
- Hydrofluoric acid
Any of the above chemicals can cause irritation and rashes when breathed or brought into contact with the skin. The potential for chemical interactions is also great when you have older carpeting that may have been cleaned with different chemicals over the years.
Household Cleaners that Generate Risks
Many people don’t worry about cleaners that they keep in their homes, but cleaning products with formaldehyde, glycol ethers, ammonia, bleach, and chlorine could be ticking time bombs for family members and pets. Bleach and ammonia produce poisonous gas when mixed. Many ingredients are carcinogenic and put children and pets at risk of liver and kidney damage, anemia, and cancer. Some of the risks include:
- Ammonia can burn mucous membranes and aggravate asthma.
- Glycol ethers, which are in many cleaning products including glass cleaners, are linked to anemia, kidney damage and lung damage in people and pets.
- Formaldehyde is an ingredient found in soaps and pet shampoos.
- Floor cleaners that include Mr. Clean and Pine Sol generate vapors that are dangerous to pets.
Professional-strength Carpet Chemicals
Some of the most dangerous chemicals are those used in professional carpet cleaning by companies that are not committed to eco-friendly products. These chemicals include:
- Butoxy Ethanol
This chemical is linked to liver and kidney damage, and you can get the chemical into your system by breathing fumes or coming into direct contact with it.
This popular cleaning chemical helps to dissolve ground-in dirt in carpeting. Naphthalene is derived from coal tar and is often used as a pesticide. Exposure to the chemical can cause liver damage, nerve damage. vomiting and mental confusion.
- Hydrofluoric Acid and Nitrilotriacetic Acid
These acids are used to restore the pH balance in your carpet after using strong alkaline cleaning solutions. Unfortunately, the acids are dangerous. They can burn the skin and eyes of pets and people, irritate the skin and mucous membranes and even cause blindness.
This chemical is used in the dry cleaning of carpets and drapes. The concentration in cleaning solutions is usually low, but the chemical can still cause drowsiness, headaches, nausea and skin inflammation.
There are other risks that you should consider. If the carpet is left wet for too long a time, it can become a breeding ground for mold, mildew, bacteria and various funguses. If your carpet stays wet too long, you should complain to your carpet cleaning company immediately. Responsible companies will return and dry out the carpet using various techniques.
Family- and Pet-Friendly Carpet Care
Eco-friendly carpet cleaning services provide professional cleaning efficiency with safe chemicals and steam cleaning to get your carpeting and rugs showroom clean without the risk of dangerous chemicals. These companies use mild chemicals that appear on the FDA list of cleaning products that are “Generally Recognized As Safe.”
Toxic Residues in Play Environments
Toddlers and pets spend a lot of time on floors, carpets, and rugs, and watching out for their safety isn’t a small issue. Pets and children have weak immune systems, small lungs and fast metabolisms, and the effects of toxic chemicals and residues can be highly dangerous to their health.
The Right Team for Professional Cleaning Brings Peace of Mind
At ProGreen Carpet, the teams only use eco-friendly products as the company’s name implies. In the Durham and Raleigh areas, ProGreen Carpet offers family- and pet-friendly service, carpet cleaning, rug cleaning, pressure washing, floor repair, carpet repair, and carpet stretching. Hiring a trusted local business with a reputation for environmental advocacy is the best solution if you’re worried about chemical toxicity in your home.
 Experiencelife.com: 8 Hidden Toxins: What’s Lurking in Your Cleaning Products?