A comparison of biocontaminant levels associated with hard vs. carpet floors in nonproblem schools: results of a year long study
Choosing the appropriate floor surface for a school environment is a complex issue. To assist school personnel in determining which flooring is best for their school, we studied the biocontaminant levels associated with carpeted and hard surface flooring. Two schools were selected, one predominantly tiled and one predominantly carpeted, as similar as possible with the exception of their floor coverings. Neither school was a "problem" building. Multiple biocontaminants were measured. For flooring, there were statistically significant differences for all the tested biocontaminants except fungi. The carpeted surfaces, being strong sinks, generally had higher surface loadings of the biocontaminants, while the airborne levels were significantly higher over tiled floors. Significant differences in airborne levels were found for dust mass, spores, fungi, -1,3 glucans, and endotoxins. The results suggest that carpet flooring was not the major contributor to airborne levels of biocontaminants in these two nonproblem schools.