Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Includes Expert Content
    savinlives08 posted:
    I have asthma. It is pretty well controlled on Asmanex. Well the other day i had new carpet installed in my apt. Well,,a couple people had told me before i had it installed that i might have some reason to it because of the chemicals they use to treat new carpet...well,,,lo and behold..a couple hrs after they put it in i had an asthma attack. Well i called the manufacturer and they told that they do not use the chemicals that were once used. To many people got sick. So he said it was probably from when they pulled up the OLD carpet and padding that released alllll that old dust and stuff in the air. I'm hoping he is right. Has anyone had any problems with new carpet? Its been about a wk and it seems to have setttled down so i'm inclined to think maybe it was the old padding underneath. Needless to say i worry i made a bad choice by gettting carpet...i hope not!! i really needed it. Any HELP is much appreciated!! thanks
    sgbl88 responded:
    Any new product would off gas some. There probably was a lot of dust stirred up in the removal of the old carpet which, for me would have triggered an asthma flare. Since your symptoms have calmed down, it probably was whatever was stirred up by removing the old carpet.

    I am glad you are feeling better and please come back.

    MySilverLining replied to sgbl88's response:
    Yes, they may have stopped using something they had documentation for causing problems, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everything they use now is totally safe. And yes, any product like this will "out-gas" just like many other things do. To me, that makes them suspect--probably not good for people or the environment. Also, there was undoubtedly a lot of dust stirred up--the reason why anyone w/ certain allergies or w/ ASTHMA shouldn't have them in their environment. I wish no one had ever come up w/ wall-to-wall!
    Gregory M Metz, MD responded:
    Frequently patients with asthma or allergies experience a flare in their breathing or nasal/ocular symptoms when exposed to irritants such as strong odors, perfumes, new paint or new carpet. Most of the time the symptoms are due to irritation instead of an allergic or toxic reaction to the chemicals.
    Tamey31 replied to Gregory M Metz, MD's response:
    Will exposure to irritants decrease as a person gets allergy shots? I regreat to live in the central valley since irratants bother me on a daily basis. Is there hope for me?
    Gregory M Metz, MD replied to Tamey31's response:
    People with allergic nasal symptoms have inflammation which predisposes them to also experience irritant reactions. Treating the underlying allergic inflammation can, in many cases, decrease one's sensitivity to non-allergic/irritant triggers.
    Aqua14 replied to Tamey31's response:
    From my own personal experience, I'd say -- yes. I'm in my 4th year of allergy shots and my sensitivity to many irritants has decreased quite a bit. There are some irritants like smoke and dust that still bother me somewhat, however, and I expect they always will. I've also found that the more I eliminate irritants from my home the less reaction I have to those outside my home. For example, I no longer burn candles nor use air fresheners, scented laundry detergent or softener sheets, or scented anything.

    Just a few thoughts, Hope they help. Judi
    MySilverLining replied to Aqua14's response:
    No one should use the air fresheners & scented oils that are so popular these days--they contain all kinds of nasty things in them that not only cause bad reactions w/ some people, but all are harmful to your lungs.
    Fyrehaze responded:
    My work just installed new carpeting and Every time I get inside the building I start itching and breaking out in a rash. Any skin that is exposed get inflamed. This build has only 2 commerical filters and this is not helping. i am told that the carpet tiles are held in place by a double sided tape and there is no latex. There is a possibility that there is a form of phemaldehyde in the carpeting. I also have developed a terrible chest cough, unsure if it is related or not. Vaccuuming has not helped in the least. Benadryl helps but it knocks me out and can't take while working. Does anyone have suggestions? Work has given me the alotted time off without a dr's note, anymore time will require note and possible termination due to missed work. Im glad to see I am not the only one suffering.
    MySilverLining replied to Fyrehaze's response:

    It may be something that you are "allergic" to, or simply that you are more sensitive to the nasty things in carpeting & glues that many others are not. New carpets have 'volatile organic compounds' (VOC's), including: toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone & other chemicals, some of which have already made the EPA's list of Extremely Hazardous Substances. Also, known carcinogens such as p-Dichlorobenzene are in new carpets, as are chemicals that produce fetal abnormalities in test animals. These chemicals also cause hallucinations, nerve damage and respiratory illness in humans.
    What can you do? Vacuum with a well sealed high quality HEPA Vacuum Cleaner that can do a much better job of cleaning your carpets than the cheaper vacuum cleaners found at most department stores. (Low quality vacuum cleaners are not sealed well! Even many of the so called filtered ones often leak air through gaps in their cases causing dirty air to blow back into your indoor environment! Steam cleaning can kill dust mites and bacteria.) If you must have a rug or carpet, choose one made of naturally flame retardant fibers such as wool, and get a woven rug. Don't glue your new carpet to the floor, attach it with staples instead. Get a Quality HEPA Air Cleaner or Air Purifier that will remove dust and toxins that rise from the carpet or rug every time you step on it or vacuum.
    Other compounds in new carpeting that affect your health are adhesives, stain protectors, mothproofing and flame retardants. That 'new carpet smell' comes from 4-PC, associated with eye, nose and upper respiratory problems that are suffered by many new carpet owners. 4-PC is used in the latex backing of 95% of US carpets. In 2000 the 3M Company removed the chemical perflouro-octanyl salphonate from their product, Scotchgard, because it had been found to cause reproductive problems in rats. It had also been found in high levels in the wildlife of urban areas. Mothproofing chemicals contain naphthalene, which is known to produce toxic reactions, especially in newborns. Fire retardants often contain PBDE's which are known to cause damage to thyroid, immune system and brain development functions in humans.
    Source: Natural Living
    You may need to seek the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in these types of work-place & health conflicts & you should contact your Human Resources Dept.--you may qualify for some type of leave while you sort this all out.
    eurekagirl replied to Fyrehaze's response:
    Yes! I suffer too. Immensely. New carpet and resin treated polyester fabriqu? furniture. I've changed soaps, detergents, spices. Thank you. I now know it is possible. I'm not overreacting.
    rayandlinda replied to Gregory M Metz, MD's response:
    My office moved into a newly built building about 2 months ago. Upon entering the new office building I noticed a chemical smell but thought it was the smell of fresh paint. After about a week I noticed my eyelids were burning, turning red and itching. Lots of people were complaining about the lighting being to bright so I assumed that is what it was. The owners of the building unplugged the light over my head. My problems with my eyelids worsened. HR gave me a air purifier and air cleaner. I went to see my PCP and she said it was more than likely not the light but the carpeting I was having a reaction to. She told me to take an anithistamine. That worked some but this week I got much worse that my supervisor had to send me home. My eye lids get bright red like they are burnt, my eyes water and itch like crazy, Now I also have small blisters in the corner of my eyes, have a sore throat and headache. This all clears up over the weekend but come Wednesday it all comes back. I am at a loss of what to do. I have made a Workers Comp claim and am still waiting to hear if is is accepted. My PCP is referring me to an allergy specialist. i recvd the specs for the carpeting and it states 0.0 for Volatile Organic Compounds. Is this possible that my symptoms are all related to the carpeting? We did rush the move and i am at my wits end trying to figure out what to do.
    seargoat replied to Gregory M Metz, MD's response:
    Absolutely, I agree, however, what is puzzling me, is I had a new carpet and underlay fitted exactly six weeks ago today, and i am still getting a reaction, which hasn't eased in any way.I know that the carpet is the culprit, as my chest tightened almost immediately as it had been layed, and when I am away from the house I am fine.I don't experience any wheezing, just an awful tightness to the chest and pains.It feels like a cross between a heavy person sitting on my chest, and somebody inflating my body from the inside with a pump. I have tried many things, including purchasing a Dyson dc41, arguably the best hepa filter vacuum around, taken prescribed antihistamines, and kept all rooms well ventilated. I have experienced this before when new carpet has been fitted, but to a much lesser degree, and has always disappeared within a few days.I am at a total loss as to what to do next.I should be very grateful if you have any suggestions. Seargoat.
    naptown replied to Gregory M Metz, MD's response:
    Hello Dr. Metz,

    What about flu-like symptoms in response to new carpet? Could that be an allergic reaction to something as well?

    Helpful Tips

    Eczema CareExpert
    Emerging research has shown that skin barrier dysfunction plays a central role in atopic dermatitis. Both the involved skin and even the ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    26 of 36 found this helpful

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health Asthma and Allergies Center