Carpet Emissions Law: What Customers and the Public Should Know

Since 2013, carpets and carpet cushions sold and installed in the city must meet certain limits in their volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. Building owners and tenants are required to buy carpets and carpet cushions that comply with these limits. See below for more information about these limits and what information customers have the right to get from carpet sellers and installers.

Health Effects of VOCs

VOCs are chemicals often found in carpets, carpet cushions and other household products, such as cleaners, paint and glue. These chemicals easily evaporate into the air and can lead to poor indoor air quality. Exposure to VOCs can result in:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness

What Customers Should Know

Carpet businesses must post or provide a notice to customers that states the law’s requirements.

A customer has the right to request information from a carpet business when they are shopping for a carpet or carpet cushion, or within six months of the date of purchase, that shows the product that is sold or installed meets VOC emissions limits. Acceptable forms of information include:

  • Documentation from the carpet or carpet cushion manufacturer that shows the product complies with VOC emissions limits as specified in the NYC Administrative Code.
  • Certification from the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label or Green Label Plus Program.

The carpet seller or installer is also required to include the following information to help identify the carpet or carpet cushion:

  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • Brand name
  • Style name or number
  • Model name or number

Customers also have the right to receive a receipt with their purchase that includes the following information:

  • Date of purchase
  • Name of the manufacturer
  • Brand name
  • Style name or number
  • Model name or number

As with any major household purchase, a customer should keep a complete record of their carpet or carpet cushion purchase in case of questions or for future assistance.

If a business does not provide the necessary documentation within three business days of your request, you can call 311 to file a complaint.

Additional Resources

  • Carpet and Rug Institute: Information on carpet types, performance and care, and materials used in carpet. Developers of the CRI Green Label and Green Label Plus certification programs.
  • Carpet Cushion Council: Information on carpet cushion types, performance and care, and materials used in carpet cushion. Administer the CRI Green Label certification program for carpet cushion.

More Information