Do wool carpets ‘clean’ the air or not? A study on the sorption effects of wool carpets by sensory evaluation

Seyyed Abbas Noorian Najafabadi, Er Ding, Nadine Hobeika, Philomena M. Bluyssen

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Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important aspect of maintaining human health and well-being, particularly since people spend most of their time indoors. Carpets, with their large surface area and dense fibre piles, have the potential to significantly impact IAQ by emitting and absorbing volatile organic compounds (VOC) from building materials and human activities. The cleaning effect of wool carpets regarding the sorption of odours from two sources of pollution: hardboard and sweaty underwear (as a proxy for bio-effluents), was investigated with an untrained panel of subjects assessing the odour intensity and the acceptability. Tests were performed in three different test environments, including a sniffing table, CLIMPAQs, and full-scale test chambers. The outcome showed that wool carpets can potentially clean the air of odours in small-scale environments, where the wool carpet covers the floor and walls of the test environment, and the odour sources are in contact with the wool carpet. However, the results were less conclusive in on scale scenarios where wool carpets only covered the floor. Overall, wool carpets have the potential to ad(b)sorb odorous emissions, but only when these emissions are near the wool carpet, and thus can have the opportunity to be ad(b)sorbed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Sensory evaluation
  • Indoor air quality
  • Wool carpets
  • Ad(b)sorption
  • Indoor air pollution

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