Potential Health Risks of Dirty Carpets in the Workplace

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Business Hygiene

Every successful business has to maintain the happiness and health of its employees. One of the best ways to help maintain health around the office is to sanitize the workplace on a regular basis. Many office cleaners concentrate on visible surfaces and forget about the mold, dust, bacteria, spores, and allergens that could be hiding within the carpet’s fiber.

Dirty office carpets can expose your office to toxins and other potential health risks. Research shows that poorly maintained office carpets can result in reduced productivity due to a high number of workplace illnesses. Employees, visitors, and clients might experience respiratory illness, skin infections, and irritations. Dirty carpets can also result in allergies which can lead to headaches and sneezing. Below are some health risks of dirty carpets in the workplace.

Respiratory Infections

Having dirty carpets in your workplace provides a perfect habitat for harmful germs and organisms to thrive. The dirt from human skin cells, shoes, and pet hair (brought in on clothing) can accumulate over time and provide breeding grounds for disease-causing micro-organisms.

The health risk arising from these dirty environs include people developing running noses and coughs. People with asthmatic conditions are more affected by dirty carpets and upholstery. Additionally, dirty carpets contain volatile compounds that have been known to cause asthma to people with no history of the disease. Dirty carpets produce harmful mycotoxins, which pollute the air around us. Continued contact with this contaminated air may lead to breathing issues and even more severe health conditions.


Allergies reactions are typically triggered when people with pre-existing allergies are exposed to dirty carpets in workplaces. The dirt found in dirty carpets will be the most probable cause of triggered allergic reactions, and people will generally complain of cold-like symptoms and itchy skin. It is essential to clean your carpets and floors on a regular basis to help keep allergens down. This will help ensure a cleaner and healthier environment for your employees and customers.

Skin Infections

Dirty carpets and general upholstery are the usual habitats for harmful organisms which induce skin irritations and cause redness or itchiness. Additionally, dirty fiber carpets usually attract common pests like mice and fleas that carry their infections, which can easily be to humans.

The athlete’s foot is one of the common skin conditions associated with coming into contact with dirty carpets. An athlete’s foot is generally a fungal disease transmitted easily by stepping or walking on dirty carpets. The fungi get their way into the body through existing cuts or scratches, causing an infection. Germs from dirty carpets have also been known to cause eczema problems or skin asthma, a health condition amplified by exposure to dirty carpets. However, this usually isn’t a problem as long as employees and guests aren’t walking around barefoot.

High-Stress Levels

Living and working in a dirty environment with dirty carpets is associated with increased stress levels. The increased stress levels can weaken the immune systems your employees, potentially making them more susceptible to illness and infection which could have otherwise been avoided.

Dirty carpets have only one solution: regular cleaning. Carpets and floors should be cleaned at least once a month (ideally twice a month or weekly) for heavily-trafficked areas such as entryways, once every 2-3 months for medium-trafficked areas such as offices and hallways, and once or twice a year for seldom-used areas. Deep cleaning your carpets is essential for getting get rid of allergens, micro-pests, and infections.

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