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Carpet Installers Speak Out
As the Medical Evidence Mounts
isn't a profession for a young man to go into," says David Buechler,
a Sawyer, North Dakota carpet installer who has been laying carpet
for twenty-fie years. "I don't know any other carpet layers whose
health isn't affected by the job in some way."
experiences a number of adverse symptoms when he works with carpet. "The
fibers and the chemicals affect your lungs and your sinuses," he
says. "Every time I lay carpet I sound like I have a cold by the
end of the day. I get hoarse, shortness of breath, and my sinuses clog
up. I get sinus infections on a regular basis. Also, my doctors attribute
the arthritis I developed to inhaling the fumes from the carpet glues."
adds, "Cancer, especially lung cancer, is a big concern. I know
of about eight carpet layers in my area that were laying carpet when
I started out, who have all died of lung cancer. They never made it
companies are aware of the risks, according to Buechler. "It's
hard to get life insurance if you're a carpet installer, he states. "And
they require a really tough physical for medical insurance if they
find out you lay carpet. I have also been told that if I hire a young
guy to work for me I need to get a release signed so that if he's laying
carpet and comes down with cancer years down the road, I won't be held
of Buechler's customers have had adverse health effects from carpet.
He now regularly cautions new customers to stay away during installation,
to keep off the carpet for several days during the initial high off
gas period, and to ensure the house is continuously ventilated. He
voices concern that some carpets appear to be more toxic than others,
and he advises people not to take any chances if their carpet causes
chronic health problems. He would rather see someone remove their carpet
than have serious long-term consequences. Buechler says he has found
that some people who react to one carpet may not react to another.
reduce the total amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that people
are exposed to from carpet systems, "we are going almost one hundred
percent away from the glue down carpet," says Buechler. "We
tack it down because the glues off gas a lot of toxic solvents and
add to the toxicity that is already present from the latex backing.
Rubber padding can be a toxicity problem, too." He tells of a
time when a young neighbor girl laid on a roll of rubber padding while
watching cartoons on TV: "She fell asleep and when she woke up,
all she had was slits for eyes because her face was so puffed up. I
wouldn't have recognized her if I hadn't known who she was. And she
was only on that rubber padding for just one hour." Buechler no
longer uses a van to haul carpet to his work sites because he says
fumes in the enclosed space were affecting him. On some days, "by
the time I'd get to the job, I'd have such a headache I could hardly
function," he says. "Now I have a pickup with a cab. I keep
the carpet in the back away from me and I feel much better."
of the most dangerous aspects of carpet laying is the seaming process,
according to Buechler, who explains, "The warnings I get along
with the carpet say do not breathe the fumes and do not burn or get
near flames and so on. But you have to during the seaming process.
You really get exposed to some nasty fumes because you use a hot seaming
iron to melt the vinyl and plastic material. It's about like throwing
a record in the oven and letting it melt up. Think about what inhaling
those fumes could do to a person."
twenty-six years of exposure to fumes from carpet laying, gluing, and
seaming, Gerald Schmidt of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was finally forced
to quit when his symptoms reached disabling proportions. He started
laying carpet as an apprentice in 1966 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, then
went into business on his own in 1968. Schmidt has noticed a change
in the toxicity of carpet over the years. "I've had a carpet warehouse
for eighteen years," he says. "When we first bought the warehouse,
we used to have jute backed carpet with the burlap on the back. Back
then we had a terrible problem with mice building nests in the carpet
rolls and we had to keep mouse traps out all the time. Now I haven't
had a mouse in there in twelve to thirteen years. There are no live
bugs in there anymore either. Not even ants. The only animals we've
found in the warehouse were a couple of dead squirrels. It's the same
warehouse. Nothing has changed but the carpet."
installing carpet for many years, he gradually developed a variety
of neurological and respiratory symptoms including numbness, tingling,
dizziness, ringing in the ears, shortness of breath, joint pain, forgetfulness,
fatigue, irritability, and tremors.
never dreamed my life would turn out this way," says Schmidt. "I
loved my work. It was a good job. All I ever wanted was to do an honest
days' work in a steady job to put a roof over my head, feed my family,
and put aside a little -- just enough to retire on some day. I never
counted on this. Now I'm in terrible pain and I shake so much that
I can hardly function. I drop stuff, I can't hang on to things, I forget
what I go to get. I'm weak and I get really tired. I can't sleep well.
My temper and my mood swings are really bad."
was evaluated at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and by neuropsychiatrist
Richard Nelson, M.D., in Billings, Montana. Both evaluations found
evidence of peripheral neuropathy. Blood tests at Mayo Clinic revealed
high levels of arsenic. Arsenical pesticides are registered for use
in carpets.(1) Further testing showed elevated benzene, a neurotoxic
solvent found in carpet.(2) His blood work also showed various immune
abnormalities consistent with the patterns being found in chemical
injury. (3,4) Schmidt has elevated TA1 cells, decreased B lymphocytes,
autoimmunity (meaning that the body's immune system has mistakenly
identified its own tissues or cellular components as foreign and has
directed antibodies against them). He has autoantibodies to smooth
muscle, central nervous system, and peripheral nerve myelin. Neurometric
testing including electroencephalogram (EEG) P300 latency assessment
evidenced cognitive impairment.
express his concerns, Schmidt called the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)
and told them, "Hey, we've got a big problem out here, and it's
not just me. I know of other carpet layers who are disabled from the
chemicals in carpets." According to Schmidt, the CRI's response
was simply a denial of the problem, and claims that they had never
heard of any problems from other carpet layers. "I was outraged," says
Schmidt. "I told them, we've given all the working years of our
lives to the carpet industry. We've supported you all the way and we've
sold your product. And now when we've been made ill by it, where are
you? You've abandoned us carpet layers and have just left us in limbo
out here, unable to work, unable to pay our bills. I've got children
to feed, and as long as you and the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) won't own up to the problem and acknowledge that chemicals in
carpeting are disabling some people -- especially the carpet layers
who are getting sick -- then workers' compensation won't even pay my
medical bills for the neurological and immunological testing I had
to do to prove I've got real damage."
by the CRI's denials, Gerald Schmidt sent a copy of all his medical
testing reports, including the letters from his doctors, to the CRI
by certified mail and sent copies to Congressman Mike Synar [K-OK]
and Vice President Al Gore. "I just wanted to have proof that
I told them so they can't deny that they've received complaints from
carpet layers," states Schmidt.
then, has the CRI changed its tune? When asked if they had heard of
any health problems from carpet layers or whether any carpet layers
had complained, CRI Director of Public Relations, Kathryn Wise stated,
"No. We're not aware of any." (5)
are they turning their back on us?" asks Ron Braithwaite, a carpet
installer from Perth Road Village, Ontario, Canada. "I contacted
the United States CRI about a year ago and told them I was having health
problems from carpet. They told me I was the only one. Canada's carpet
institute said the same thing. So I said, 'Okay, I'm the only one.'" He
later spoke with other carpet layers in Canada who were experiencing
adverse health effects from the carpet and found they were being told
the same thing. "So as long as they're telling us that, then we
think we're the only ones with the problem and that it's not affecting
anybody else," he says.
Braithwaite started laying carpet when he was ten years old, helping
his father who was also a carpet layer. He says, "My dad died
of lung cancer when he was fifty-eight. Another carpet layer who was
a good friend of his died the same way. There are a lot of carpet layers
in our area that died of cancer and developed other serious health
problems when they were relatively young."
the years Braithwaite developed a number of symptoms which gradually
worsened to the point where he is now disabled. Neurological testing,
including a SPECT scan (single photon emission computed tomography)
conducted in the nuclear medicine department of Ottawa General Hospital,
verified damage to his brain, especially to his posterior parietal
lobes. His doctors are convinced that the solvents and other chemicals
in the carpets and glues Ron was working with are the cause. He experiences
severe concentration problems, dizziness, memory loss, ringing in his
ears, erratic heartbeats, shortness of breath, erratic sleeping patterns
recurring nosebleeds, weakness, coordination problems, sharp pains,
irritability, gastrointestinal problems, numbness and sensations of
pins and needles in his lower arms and hands. He has found that his
symptoms worsen when he is around the low levels of petrochemicals
commonly found in many public buildings, which limits him still further.
wants his health back. But that is not all he wants. "I want to
know the names of all the chemicals I have been working with for the
past twenty plus years. I should have a legal right to know what has
been poisoning me," he says. "I want to know why I was never
given any warnings about any of this all the years I laid carpet. And
I want to know how to tell my two young children that their daddy is
too sick to go to their school play or go on the swing with them, or
help build a snowman. I want to know how to tell my children why mommy
and daddy seem to be arguing all the time because their daddy can't
provide for his family the way he did for years, and because we are
worried about the future of our children."
Braithwaite and his wife Donna mortgaged their home to open a local
corner store. Donna Braithwaite often works eight-hour weeks at their
store in an effort to support their family. As Ron struggles to cope
with hsi disability, he spends his time gathering information regarding
the health effects of chemicals in carpets, and plant to start a support
group. He wonders, "How many other families, including vulnerable
little children, have to be made seriously ill by carpet before the
CRI honestly admits to the problem and stops putting out products that
place people at risk?"
has been proven to date that links carpet and ill health effects," says
the CRI's Kathryn Wise. (5)
type of denial is just exactly what the tobacco industry has done for
years and to a large degree is still doing," attorney Kevin McIvers
of Santa Barbara, California, states. "It is based on a type of
technical scientific nonsensical argument where they take the position
in court -- and in my mind this takes tremendous nerve for them to
say this -- that there is no scientific evidence that smoking cigarettes
causes cancer. And then of course folks like us say 'Well then, why
do people die of cancer three or four times as often when they smoke
cigarettes than when they don't?'
would think that finding is pretty scientific, but what they are talking
about is the technical argument. There is no one who can completely
explain exactly what chemicals in cigarette smoke causes what precise
biomolecular changes that actually mutate the cell and lead to that
downward path to cancer. So because of that, they say there is no evidence
that it makes you sick, and that's nuts. Just because you don't understand
the mechanism doesn't mean it's not happening. People get around these
products and they become dreadfully ill. But that is not enough for
the tobacco industry and the CRI."
quick scan of the medical and scientific literature reveals the following:
higher incidence of neuro-psychiatric illness including visuo-analytical
and perceptual impairment was found in floorlayers than in controls.
The effects were associated with glues and contact adhesives and
their action on the central nervous system. (6)
study of carpet and textile workers in northern Georgia found that
compared to other Georgians, they had a higher incidence of deaths
from lymphocytic leukemia and testicular cancer. (7)
increased risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer was found for male
carpet layers, as compared to control subjects, in a study conducted
in four areas of the United States. (8)
study found that carpet layers exposed to solvents are at increased
risk for the types of neuropsychiatric disorders associated with
solvent exposure, as compared to control subjects. The greater
the exposure, in terms of number of years worked, the greater the
researchers warn that carpet tends to provide a reservoir for tracked-in
chemicals adsorbed to dust, including pesticides, lead, heavy metals,
and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. The amount of lead found
in dust in carpet where a child plays has been found to be the
best single predictor of the toddler's blood level of lead. (10,11,12)
abstract of a Russian study states, "People working in modern
carpet industry are exposed to a complex of factors in different
origin, the most important among which are general vibration and
styrene vapors. It has been found out in animal experiments simulating
working conditions, that the central nervous system is the most
sensitive" to chemical exposure in the carpet industry. (13)
ASTM E981 method used by Anderson Laboratories in case-controlled
studies has shown the presence of measurable concentrations of
sensory and pulmonary irritant chemicals off gassing from carpet.
Neuromuscular toxicity has also been measured with the test. (14)
Lab's test results have been duplicated by an independent lab hired
by the CRI (15), and by the U.S. EPA in a side-by-side test at Anderson
Labs. (16) Mice exposed to air passing over a seven-inch square piece
of carpet at room temperature exhibited respiratory and neurological
symptoms, and some died. (17)
ASTM E981 method was developed by Yves Alarie, Ph.D., in the 1960s
under the direction of the U.S. Department of Defense. It was specifically
developed to reliably extrapolate mouse data to humans. It has been
recommended as a reliable product test in a report commissioned by
the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and also by Daniel Costa,
of EPA's Health Effects Research Laboratory, Pulmonary Toxicology Branch.
(2, 18) Costa wrote regarding the ASTM E981, "We support the use
of the mouse irritancy test for detecting, and possibly for comparing
potencies among, indoor air contaminants ... We believe that if the
mouse irritancy test is positive upon exposure to a suspected indoor
contaminant, then the atmosphere is likely to be irritating to humans."
method has been used extensively by both government and industry over
the years to determine irritant effects of chemicals and to extrapolate
those results to humans. A recent review article found that at least
295 chemicals had been evaluated by the ASTM E981 method in the published
scientific literature. Eighty-nine of those chemicals have occupational
exposure limit values (threshold limit values) against which the adequacy
of the ASTM E981 tests were compared. The ASTM E981 was found to be
a reliable indicator for human occupational exposure limit values,
and the author concluded, "There are no other toxicological methods
that have been validated, calibrated, and used with results available
on such a large number of airborne chemicals. Certainly, the bioassay
has withstood the test of time and the various mechanisms by which
sensory irritation occur have now been well-delineated. Analysis of
the now much larger database proves that the bioassay is even better
at predicting safe levels of exposure for humans than originally suggested
by Alarie." (19)
the CRI's request, Dr. Alarie visited Anderson Labs to review the quality
and methodology of Anderson's handling of the ASTM E981, and found
that it was scientifically valid. The CRI then hired Alarie to try
to duplicate Anderson's results. Alarie testified at a June 11, 1993,
carpet toxicity hearing before the House Subcommittee on Environment,
Energy, and Natural Resources, that "her description of the effects
observed was correct and her experimental design was valid," and
that he was able to replicate her results four times. (15)
Goldman, manager of Anderson Labs, reports that autopsies on mice exposed
to carpet fumes using the ASTM E981 method have shown a variety of
lesions including brain and liver lesions, as well as kidney degeneration.
The consulting pathologist noted no predictable pattern for the lesions, "but,
you don't expect to see lesions in such a short-term low level exposure," Goldman
spite of the evidence, the CRI distributed an April 1993 memorandum
throughout the carpet and rug industry, calling the test used by Anderson
Labs into question and stating that the CPSC, EPA, and independent
labs had all "failed to discover any evidence linking carpet and
ill health effects." The memorandum, which was distributed to
carpet retailers as well, assured them that a class action lawsuit
regarding carpet toxicity would be "defended vigorously and successfully." (20)
installer Schmidt says that after he contacted the CRI, he received
a call from a representative within the carpet industry, who told him
his problems couldn't possibly have come from carpet and that the mouse
tests run by Anderson Labs were ridiculous. Schmidt responded to the
man, "What? Do you think those mice just died on cue? They've
run the test a number of times you know. Not all of the mice die, and
other researchers have repeated the test successfully. They must train
those mice pretty well to just kick over and die."
labs reports that the respiratory and neurological symptoms in the
mice have correlated well with the symptoms of the carpet owners. The
preliminary results of one case are particularly striking. Pulmonary
specialist Ganesh Rhagu, M.D., associate professor of medicine, chief
of the chest clinic and medical director of the lung transplant program
at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary
and Critical Care, had a patient who was exposed to new carpet and
developed hypersensitivity pneumonitis. Dr. Rhagu sent a piece of the
patient's carpet to Anderson Labs to see what kind of effect it would
have on the mice.
tests have been run twice, both times with case controls. Lab manager
Mark Goldman reports "Dr. Rhagu found the same type of pathological
changes and damage in the tissue biopsies from the lungs of the carpet
exposed mice as in the patient who was exposed to the same carpet.
Normally hypersensitivity pneumonitis is a chronic disease, but the
mice developed it after only forty-eight hours of exposure. The implications
are so serious, we are not willing to make a solid statement at this
time, until more data are in. So, bear in mind that these are early
results and more tests are under way to confirm the data."
has been contacted by some carpet installers who say they have been
made ill by carpet, but he also hears from carpet installers who say
they have had no problems. Goldman comments "Most of the time
if a carpet layer is fairly sensitive, he will get out of the business.
If he gets sick and nauseated doing the work when he first starts out,
he's not going to stick around and he'll switch to another profession
that doesn't make him sick. I hear carpet layers say, 'I've been doing
this for twenty years and it hasn't bothered me at all.' So there is
a self-selected group of people in the business who aren't sensitive,
but they are also, in some cases, the ones who wind up coming down
Hazardous Chemicals in Carpet
Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has voluntarily agreed to a new carpet
label which states, in part:
HEALTH INFORMATION: Some people experience allergic or flu-like symptoms,
headaches, or respiratory problems which they associate with the
installation, cleaning, or removal of carpet or other interior renovation
materials. If these or other symptoms occur, notify your physician
of the symptoms and all materials involved. SENSITIVE INDIVIDUALS:
Persons who are allergy-prone or sensitive to odors or chemicals
should avoid the area or leave the premises when these materials
are being installed or removed."
spite of the warnings on the new label, CRI's Director of Public Relations,
Kathryn Wise, states, "All the scientific reports have told us
that there is nothing that they can prove that is harmful to health
in carpet." (5)
an April 1991 New York Attorney General consumer alert regarding carpets
warns that "many of the chemicals emitted are toxic and some are
known or suspected to cause cancer and birth defects." (21)
of the difficulty in pinpointing the problem arises from the large
number of chemicals involved. A toxicologist within the carpet and
rug industry has revealed that there are at least one thousand different
chemicals in the manufacture of carpets. "In December of 1992,
at the request of one of the major chemical companies in the carpet
and rug industry, Dr. Alan Broughton and I met with one of their toxicologists
and the attorney that represented the carpet industry," says immunotoxicologist
Jack Thrasher, Ph.D. "We were interviewed regarding the abnormal
immunologic test results we had found in numerous cases of carpet exposure.
They also asked us what our recommendations for research would be with
respect to carpet problems. We were told at that meeting that there
are at least one thousand different chemicals used in synthetic carpeting
and that to look at the combinations and permutations would be a tremendous
example of a hazardous contaminant or possible permutation appears
to be formaldehyde. According to the carpet and rug industry, formaldehyde
is not used in the manufacture of carpets. Wise states,
"There is no formaldehyde in carpet, it has not been used in the
manufacture of carpet in over ten years." Michael Kronick, executive
director of the Canadian Carpet Institute in Ottawa, has gone on record
stating that formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene are not used in the manufacture
of carpet. (22)
all three of these chemicals are emitted from carpet according to a
number of emissions tests run on new carpet samples fresh from the
mill. (2, 23, 24, 25) One study commissioned by the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) found formaldehyde was one of the top eight
emissions. Their report warns that the levels of formaldehyde, 4-PC,
and butylated hydroxytoluene did not drop off rapidly, and may be "more
important with respect to health and comfort effects. (2)
the initial installation period, the levels of the chemicals emitted
from carpets are usually low. However, many researchers are extremely
concerned about the possible synergistic and cumulative effects of
the multitude of chemicals involved in carpet. The health effects of
specific combinations of chemicals in carpets have not yet been studied.
below are just a few of the hazardous chemicals that have been found
in carpet emissions tests. Not much is known about their health effects
from chronic low-level exposure. The health effects listed are generally
associated with higher exposure levels, but Grace Ziem, M.D., Dr.P.H.,
warns that sensitive individuals may experience adverse effects at
lower exposure levels than the average individual. Further, the National
Institute of Occupational Safety and Health warns that there is no
safe level of exposure to a carcinogen, as the cell damage can occur
at extremely low exposure levels.
Dan Costa and a report commissioned by the CPSC both recommend the
ASTM E981 test, used by Anderson Laboratories as a reliable test to
determine human health effects from both individual chemicals and entire
products. (2, 18)
of the following chemicals are also listed on EPA's Community Right
to Know List which requires manufacturing facilities to prepare Material
Safety Data Sheets and notify local authorities of the presence of
number of the following chemicals have been tested with the ASTM E981
by labs other than Anderson's. Their published results indicate that
adverse effects in mice are a reliable indicator of adverse effects
in humans. Those chemicals are marked by the following statement,
"Published studies indicate the ASTM E981 test is a reliable indicator
of adverse human health effects."
Partial Listing of Hazardous Chemicals Found in Carpet
(23) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory
and is listed on EPA's Community Right to Know List. It is considered
a severe irritant. Human systemic effects by inhalation include changes
in electroencephalogram, changes in carbohydrate metabolism, nasal
effects, respiratory system effects, nausea, vomiting, and muscle weakness.
Adverse reproductive effects have been reported in animal experiments.
Acetone can react vigorously with oxidizing chemicals. Published studies
indicate the ASTM E981 test is a reliable indicator of adverse human
health effects for acetone. (19, 26, 27)
(25) - It is a suspected carcinogen. (25, 29)
(2, 23, 25) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act
Inventory and is listed on EPA's Community Right to Know List. Benzene
is a confirmed human carcinogen. It can produce myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin's
disease, and lymphomas by inhalation. It is also considered a human
poison by inhalation. It is a moderate skin irritant and a severe eye
irritant. Human systemic effects by inhalation include blood changes
and increased body temperature. Animal experiments have found teratogenic
[birth defects] and adverse reproductive effects. Human mutation data
have been reported. Research indicates that effects are seen at less
than 1 parts per million (ppm). In one study, exposures needed to be
reduced to 0.1 ppm before no toxic effects were observed. (27)
(25) - It is moderately toxic by skin contact. Animal experiments have
shown it to be teratogenic. Other adverse reproductive effects have
been reported in experiments. Human mutation data have been reported.
Exposure symptoms in humans include cough, skin and eye irritation.
glycol (25) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act
Inventory and is listed on EPA's Community Right to Know List. It is
a suspected carcinogen, supported by experimental carcinogenic, tumorigenic
and teratogenic data. It is an eye and human skin irritant. (27)
(2, 25) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory
and is listed on EPA's Community Right to Know List. It is a confirmed
carcinogen. Animal experiments have found teratogenic effects (birth
defects). In humans it can cause headache, eye irritation, swelling
weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and cirrhosis of the liver. Published
studies indicate the ASTM E981 test is a reliable indicator of adverse
human health effects for p-dichlorobenzene. (19, 26, 27)
(2, 23, 25) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act
Inventory. It is a confirmed carcinogen. Animal experiments have reported
adverse reproductive effects. Human mutation data has been reported.
In humans it can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, bronchial spasm,
lung irritation, dermatitis, aggressive behavior, and olfactory (smell)
changes. Frequent or prolonged exposure may cause hypersensitivity
to subsequent lower level exposures. Published studies indicate the
ASTM E981 test is a reliable indicator of adverse human health effects
for formaldehyde. (19, 26, 27)
(23) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory.
In humans it can cause lightheadedness, nausea, headache, weakness,
eye and nose irritation, dermatitis, chemical pneumonia, giddiness,
hallucinations, structural changes in nerves, motor neuropathy, and
respiratory irritation. Animal experiments have found adverse reproductive
effects and birth defects. Mutation data have been reported. (26, 27)
(2, 24, 25) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act
Inventory and is listed on EPA's Community Right to Know List. It is
a suspected carcinogen and human mutation data have been reported.
Animal experiments have found adverse reproductive effects. In humans
it can cause eye and nose irritation, drowsiness, olfactory (smell)
changes, and defatting dermatitis. Published studies indicate the ASTM
E981 test is a reliable indicator of adverse human health effects for
styrene. (19, 26, 27)
(2, 23, 25) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act
Inventory and is listed on EPA's Community Right to Know List. Mutation
data have been reported. Animal experiments have found adverse reproductive
effects. Human effects include fatigue, weakness, confusion, euphoria,
dizziness, headache, dilated pupils, dermatitis, central nervous system
recording changes, hallucinations or distorted perceptions, motor activity
changes, psychophysiological test changes, and bone marrow changes.
Published studies indicate the ASTM E981 test is a reliable indicator
of adverse human health effects for toluene. (19, 26, 27)
(28) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory.
It is considered to be moderately toxic by inhalation. Animal experiments
have evidenced carcinogenic, tumorigenic, and adverse reproductive
(2, 25) - It is included in EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory
and is listed on EPA's Community Right to Know List. Animal experiments
have found adverse reproductive effects and birth defects. In humans
it can cause dizziness, excitement drowsiness, weight loss, nausea,
vomiting, abdominal pain, and dermatitis, coordination problems, and
staggering gate. Published studies indicate the ASTM E981 test is a
reliable indicator of adverse human health effects for xylenes. (19,
National Federation of Federal Employees Local 2050, Environmental
Protection Agency; Hirzy, W.B. "List of Pesticides Registered
for Carpet and Indoor Uses." (Febraury 4, 1993).
Product Safety Commission memorandum and final report from interagency
agreement on volatile organic chemical emissions from carpets.
CPSC-IAG-09-1256 (August 13, 1993).
G.; Vojdani, A.; Heuser, S. "diagnostic Markers of Multiple
Chemical Sensitivity." in Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
Washington, DC: National Academy Press, National Research Council
G. "Diagnostic Markers in Immunotoxicology and Neurotoxicology." Journal
of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 1(4):v-x (1992).
Wise, Director of Public Relations, Carpet and Rug Institute. (Personal
communication, December 17, 1993).
K.; Barregard, L.; et al. "Chronic and Acute Effects of Solvents
on Central Nervous System Functions in Floorlayers." British
Journal of Industrial Medicine 43(2): 101-106 (1986).
T.R.; Decoufle, P. "Cancer Mortality Among Northern Georgia
Carpet and Textile Workers." American Journal of Industrial
Medicine 14:15-24 (1988).
W.W.; Schoenberg, J.R.; et al. "Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer
and Occupation: A Case-Control Study." Epidemiology 3(4):
O.; Hane, M.; Hogstedt, C. "A Case-referent Study on Neuropsychiatric
Disorders Among Workers Exposed to Solvents."
Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment & Health 2:14-20 (1976).
J.W.; Budd, W.T.; et al. "Chemical Contaminants in House Dust;
Occurrentces and Sources." Indoor Air '93: Proceedings of
the International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate
D.J.A.; Thorton, I.; et al. "Relationship Between Blood Lead
and Lead Intake in Two Year Old Urban Children in the UK." Science
of the Total Environment 90:13-29 (1990)
W.T.; Roberts, J.W., Ruby, M.G. "Field Evaluation of a High
Volume Surface Sampler for Pesticides in Floor Dust." Environmental
Protection Agency, EPA 600-3-90-030, PB 90-192006 (1990).
G.I.; Prokhorov, N.I.; et al. "Experimental Studies of the
Combined Effect of Styrene in General Vibration." (in Russian)
Gig Sanit 9:32-36 (1990).
R.C., "Toxic Emissions from Carpets." Indoor Air '93:
Proceedings of the International Conference on Indoor Air Quality
and Climate 1:651-656 (1993).
submitted testimony of Yves Alarie before the Committee on Government
Operations, Subcommittee on Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources,
U.S. House of Representatives. Re: carpet research (June 11, 1993).
Pollina, Representative Bernard Sanders' aide and direct witness
to the Environmental Protection Agency and Anderson Laboratory
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J.D.; Whiton, R.S. "Determination of Organic Emissions from
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Reed, Ph.D., Industrial Hygienist, Reed & Associates, (Personal
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87-114. Washington D.C.: Government Print Office (1988).
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