Carpet Emissions Law

Since 2013, carpet sellers and installers must ensure that their products meet limits for volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. This page provides information about how the law affects carpet businesses (sellers and installers).

The general public can also get more information about what customers should know about the VOC emissions law.

Health Effects of VOCs

VOCs are chemicals often found in carpets, carpet cushions and other household products, like 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

Reducing sources of these indoor air pollutants and maintaining good ventilation can improve overall indoor air quality.

What Businesses Must Do

Since 2013, businesses can only sell or install carpets and carpet cushions that comply with Local Law 2 of 2012 (PDF). Carpet businesses must also post or provide a notice to customers about the law’s requirements. The notice must be posted in a place that is clearly visible to customers.

In order to comply, carpet businesses must follow three steps:

  1. Sell or install carpet or carpet cushion that:
    • Complies with the VOC emissions limits specified in Section 17-1404 of the Administrative Code (Tables I and II) OR
    • Is certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Green Label or Green Label Plus program

  2. Get documentation that shows their carpet or carpet cushions are compliant with the VOC emissions limits specified by the law. They must keep the documents for six months after sale or installation. 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 must include the following information together with the documentation to help identify the carpet or carpet cushion:
    • Name and address of the manufacturer
    • Brand name
    • Style name or number
    • Model name or number

  3. Post or provide a notice to the customer that specifically states the law’s requirements (see below for exact wording).

Businesses found to be in violation of the law are subject to penalties and fines.

Customer Notice Requirements

A notice that states the requirements of the law must be posted or provided to customers as follows:

  • Carpet sellers must post a clearly visible sign at their place of business. The sign must be at least 8 ½ inches by 14 inches, and the size of the letters must be at least half an inch tall.
  • Carpet sellers who sell carpet or carpet cushion on a website for installation in NYC must provide an electronic notice to the customer at the time of purchase.
  • Carpet installers who install carpet or carpet cushion purchased outside of NYC for installation in the city must provide a paper copy of the notice to the customer prior to installation.

Download the required notice for carpet sellers and installers (PDF).


Antique or hand-made rugs or carpets made of natural fibers such as wool, cotton or jute, with no VOC-containing carpet backing or carpet cushion, are exempt from the above requirements. Any carpet or carpet cushion sold or installed before July 1, 2013, is also exempt.

Additional Resources

More Information