New carpet odor comes from a reaction between styrene and butadiene, the components of synthetic latex or styrene-butadiene latex (SBL). There is no natural latex used in carpet today; therefore, there are none of the latex proteins that cause allergic reactions in sensitive people, as might be the case with latex gloves.
When new carpet is installed, the old carpet should be thoroughly vacuumed with a high-efficiency filtered vacuum cleaner before it’s disengaged. If it’s particularly filthy or highly contaminated with mold or pet urine, it is advisable to roll it in plastic as it is removed. Then the subfloor should be vacuumed before the new carpet is installed.
Much of the suffering that people experience during and immediately after new carpet installation is directly related to aerosolized dusts and biological fragments (bioaerosols) that are rendered airborne when the carpet is “ripped out.” Positive ventilation helps a good deal here as well.
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