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How Do I Find an Affordable, Non-Toxic Rug?

QUESTION:
I am looking for some nontoxic rugs in a new apartment and I am being extra careful to select nontoxic ones due to the fact that I have an infant. I have found that the ones sold specifically as nontoxic by the sites that are recommended here are VERY expensive, and we simply don't have the budget now for those. I noticed that IKEA sells 100% wool rugs. Are these toxic? What questions could I ask them about the rugs to determine if there is anything toxic about them? Are there widely available stores that I should check out? Because we have an infant who is just starting to crawl it is important to me to have a very thick well-cushioned rug in case she falls because the flooring underneath is marble.

Thank you.

ANSWER:
The main things you want to look for are backing materials and moth-proofing. Often latex and jute backings have strong odors. Moth-proofing is usually sprayed on wool carpets.

That said, I once found a totally nontoxic wool area rug at Home Depot, of all places. I still have it in my hallway and it has never had an odor, and I've never experienced ill effects.

I wish I could send you to "The Nontoxic Rug Store" at a mall near you, but unfortunately they don't exist.

Debra


This answer was provided by our friend, Debra Lynn Dadd. Hailed as "The Queen of Green" by the New York Times, Debra Lynn Dadd has been a pioneering consumer advocate since 1982, specializing in products and lifestyle choices that are safer for human health and the environment. She is the author of Home Safe Home.

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