Numerous myths have developed over the past 50 years related to ordinary consumer products. The Alar scare with apples, the saccharine and NutriSweet scares with sweeteners, the phalate scare with children's toys, the toilet seat scare with syphilis, the red M&M (candy) scare, and so on. Generally, these groundless myths become fact as a result of a news story. The more sensational the story and the more individual lives it touches, the better the news coverage. Many of these myths originate from one scientific study that is never replicated, but become unsubstantiated fact simply because it has been reported as news.
Carpet has had several of these occurrences over the past 30 years and without exception, each news story was eventually found to be false. Numerous court cases have been thrown out based on these myths, yet the news media often fails to follow up to correct misperceptions once they have been created.
When you begin to shop for carpet you may be confronted with many of these myths by physicians, friends, family, teachers, and other professionals. Many of the myths related to chemical emissions, allergies, Kawasaki Syndrome, dust mites, and mold and mildew have been addressed in this section, but you may run across other sensational stories. Keep in mind the source, and place little stock in stories that can’t be confirmed, even if the information comes from your physician. Physicians can be blinded by myths like any other person.
Many myths related to carpet were created as a result of preliminary findings that were never proven. In fact, many were disproved shortly after news release, but the media rarely returns to an issue to correct misperceptions created as a result of reporting preliminary findings. Over the years there have been numerous public health scares regarding other products as well and many were determined to be false.