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article imageExperts claim new flooring or carpet can harm unborn children

By Simon Crompton     Jan 7, 2015 in Health
According to German researchers, the volatile chemicals released from new flooring and carpet can damage the health of unborn children if their mothers are exposed to them.
The claims, reported by the Daily Mail, reveal a link between new flooring and problems with breathing in adults and experienced by babies if they were exposed to the chemicals even while in the womb.
The research, published in the Environment International journal, involved the German researchers from Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research asking a pool of 450 mothers about their health, their baby’s health and if they had redecorated during their pregnancy or in the baby’s first year.
More information about new furniture, flooring, carpet and other environmental changes were correlated with air samples taken from the homes. According to the research a clear link between new flooring and health problems in the babies could be established.
The results showed that children of parents who had a history of allergies “were more than five times as likely to be treated by their doctor for wheezing by the age of one if new flooring was put in during pregnancy.”
‘Similar public health effects may be assumed for other countries with western life style and moderate or northern climate,” the report stated. “We therefore do not recommend that laminate, carpet or floor coverings be laid in the homes of pregnant women.”
The report went on to recommend that laying any type of carpet or laminate, whether it is glued down or not, be avoided until the baby was over a year old.
It has long been known that exposing infants to toxic substances in glues and adhesives could damage their health, but this report links exposure to unborn babies. Exposure to flame retardant PDBE in carpets, textiles and plastics has also been shown to affect the thyroid function in unborn children leading to poor brain development and abnormal fetal growth.
Other dangers with renovating older homes include lead poisoning from stripping off the lead-based paint. Although it is now banned, lead paint can still be found on older floorboards and on walls.
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