Synthetic carpets are made from nylon fibers with a polypropylene backing. Of the chemicals released from carpet, most noticeable are styrene and 4-phenlycyclohexane (4-PC), both of which come from the latex backing used on 95 percent of carpets. The “new carpet” aroma is the odor of 4-PC off-gassing. In glue-downs, the adhesive used to affix the carpet to the floor typically contains benzene and toluene, some of the more harmful VOCs.
Brian Berson, Flooring Consultant
Creative Carpet & Flooring