On Jan. 17, 2012, the Mayor signed into law Local Law 2 of 2012 (PDF), which requires carpet businesses to sell and install carpets and carpet cushions that have low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. The law also requires building owners and tenants to buy carpet and carpet cushion that comply with the new law. This fact sheet provides general information for the public on VOC emissions from carpet and carpet cushion and on the law’s requirements.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that easily evaporate into the air. They are often used in paints, household cleaners and certain building materials, including mass-produced carpets, carpet cushions and adhesives.
Reducing VOC emissions in carpets and carpet products can reduce VOC impact on the environment, and reduce exposures and odors indoors. Reducing sources of indoor air pollutants and maintaining good ventilation can improve overall indoor air quality. See link for other ways to improve IAQ.
Beginning July 1, 2013, carpet businesses can only sell or install carpets and carpet cushions that comply with specific VOC emissions limits as listed in New York City Administrative Code (Limits on Volatile Organic Compound Emissions in Carpet and Carpet Cushion).
Building owners and tenants in New York City can only buy and install carpet or carpet cushion that complies with the VOC emission limits specified in the NYC Administrative Code.
Carpet businesses must also post or provide a notice to customers stating the requirements of the law.
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 law. Any carpet or carpet cushion sold or installed before July 1, 2013 is exempt.
A customer has the right to:
Request documentation 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 being sold or installed meets VOC emissions limits. Acceptable forms of information include:
The carpet seller or installer is also required to include the following information to either forms of documentation to help identify the carpet or carpet cushion
Receive a receipt with their purchase that includes the information below. 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
Call 311 to report a carpet business that does not provide you with proper documentation or an appropriate receipt within three (3) business days of a request.