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I asked specifically, 'I don't want to know if the industry believes that carpet can cause problems, or if it's scientifically documented or anything like that.Just tell me, please, has anyone ever complained or claimed that they have had a neurological or neuromuscular reaction of any kind to carpet? We've never heard of it.'" The manufacturer followed up their call with a letter a month later: "You reported that your 11-month-old son has been experiencing some allergy-type symptoms since your new carpeting was installed," the July 18, 1991 letter stated.In a memorandum attached to a CPSC report obtained by the Mc Iverses, dated nearly a year before they had bought their carpet, CPSC presented the results of their evaluation of complaints from 206 households about respiratory and central nervous system problems attributed to carpet and stated, "We are continuing to interact with the carpet industry and will provide them with copies of these studies for their information." (6) Two months before Kevin Mc Ivers called the manufacturer of their carpet for help, the New York Attorney General, Robert Abrams, had petitioned CPSC to require warning labels on carpets.
(4, 5) CPSC had received hundreds of complaints about carpet.
"Being a trial lawyer, I'm very aware of some of the shenanigans that can go on over semantics, so I was very careful how I worded my questions to the industry.
I wanted the correct information for my son's benefit.
"We have not heard of any reactions similar to what you describe." (1) Christopher's tremors seemed to lessen when they were away from home, so, on the advice of their doctors, the Mc Iverses consulted with an indoor air consultant.
He advised them to steam-clean the carpet several times and bake out the house by shutting the windows and heating it to speed up the offgassing of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), then airing it for several days.