New research at OSU has looked in to the mold level in carpets that reside in high moisture environments. As one might expect, they found these carpets to contain higher levels of mold than those in drier areas.
Additionally, the research found that the level of dust in the carpet and from what material it is made can affect mold growth. The mold and dust is easily circulated into the air by simple human walking which increases our exposure as we go about our daily lives.
The research team found fungi (the mold growth the team tended to find was fungi) can borrow into the fibers of rugs when they are made from wool or other natural materials. There was even some evidence to suggest the fungi is even able to use carbon present in the wool.
The study examined olefin, nylon and wool; 2 synthetic, 1 natural carpet material. However, most carpets in the U.S. are made of synthetic fibers.
Most carpet in the U.S. is made of synthetic fibers. The study wanted to discover preventative measures to reduce our exposure to dust and mold harboring in our carpets.
Moisture was the most important factor when it came to mold growth. Dust attracts moisture so dusty carpets invite mold.
The surprise result was the role dust played in mold growth. Researcher suggested that one of the best things you can do is vacuum your carpets as often as possible, especially in high traffic areas. They recommended vacuuming as much as once a day to decrease the dust that mold loves so much.