Emissions of volatile organic compounds from new carpets measured in a large-scale environmental chamber

Air Waste. 1993 Mar;43(3):316-24. doi: 10.1080/1073161x.1993.10467136.


This study was undertaken to quantify the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by new carpets. Samples of four typical carpets, including two with styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) latex adhesive and two with different backings, were collected from the finish lines at manufacturers' mills. Individual VOCs released from these samples were identified, and their concentrations, emission rates and mass emissions were measured under simulated indoor conditions in a 20 m3 environmental chamber over one week periods. Concentrations and emission rates of VOCs emitted by a new SBR carpet were also measured in a house. The carpets emitted a variety of VOCs. The two SBR carpets primarily emitted 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH), the source of "new carpet" odor, and styrene. The concentrations and emission rates of 4-PCH were similar for the two carpets, while the styrene values varied significantly. The carpet with a polyvinyl chloride backing emitted formaldehyde, vinyl acetate, isooctane, 1,2-propanediol, and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol. Of these, vinyl acetate and propanediol had the highest concentrations and emission rates. The carpet with a polyurethane backing primarily emitted butylated hydroxytoluene. With the exception of formaldehyde, little is known about the health effects of these VOCs at low concentrations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Household Articles*
  • Hydrocarbons / analysis*


  • Air Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons