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1/5/12 - NYC rolls out greener carpet rule

This legislation is based on Trust-funded research, recommendations, and reporting by the Urban Green Council.

NYC rolls out greener carpet rule

By Ali Elkin
Published: January 5, 2012

The City Council approved a bill Wednesday that aims to make all carpets sold in New York greener.

The bill is designed to reduce volatile organic compounds by requiring city retailers to stock only carpets and carpet cushions that meet the Carpet and Rug Institute's criteria for a “Green Label Plus” standard, according to Russell Unger, the executive director of the Urban Green Council. That standard sets strict maximums on volatile organic compound emissions. Manufacturers will need either to meet that standard, or provide documentation that their carpets meet the standards in order for retailers to be able to sell them in the city. If Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs the bill, it will go into effect by July 2013.

Volatile organic compounds are carbon-containing compounds that evaporate in room-temperature conditions. Not all of them are harmful, but some are carcinogenic when inhaled, and others have been connected to incidents of mild illness. The new law would be based on emission minimums of specific compounds, such as benzene and formaldehyde, per square meter of carpet. Violators will be fined between $250 and $500.


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