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According to an old wives tale, carpet flooring can adversely impact childhood asthma.

According to science, this isn’t true.

The Study

If you have a child with asthma and you have carpet in your home, your child is not being adversely affected, according to the “Results of a Home-Based Environmental Intervention among Urban Children with Asthma” study published by The New England Journal of Medicine.

A study of inner city children with asthma confirms that clean, dry carpet is a healthy flooring choice for everyone, including children and adults with asthma and allergies. The study followed nearly 1,000 children from seven major U.S. cities over the course of a year.

The Results

The study showed that removing carpet from the bedrooms of asthmatic children made no difference to improve their symptoms. However, elimination of tobacco smoke and improved cleaning in general did make a difference, such as cleaning with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner. Beyond that, no difference was found in the levels of allergens measured in carpeted homes compared to homes with hard surface floors.

At the outset of the study, researchers sought to remove carpet from the children’s bedrooms, but factors such as rental agreements kept them from it. Family members were still instructed to remove the carpet from their children’s bedrooms wherever possible.

Contrary to researchers’ expectations, children with carpet in their bedrooms improved as much and did just as well as children who had hard surface floors.

The study was sponsored in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health.

Source: and the Carpet and Rug Institute.