Are Nylon Rugs Toxic?

Are Nylon Rugs Toxic?

Nylon as a rug material releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when it is first produced. Handmade nylon rugs are usually made of recycled nylon, which is much less likely to release large amounts of VOCs than handmade wool or cotton rugs. This problem is not unique to nylon, as many other fibers are similarly made, and new carpets may emit strong odors for the first few months. When synthetic materials are burned, the VOCs in them can produce toxic fumes. Nylon rugs might release toxic fumes if they are burned on high heat.

Nylon rugs have gained popularity recently as a more affordable alternative to wool rugs. When nylon is first made into carpets, it emits VOCs that may be carcinogenic at high levels. The process of making the material can also release dioxins if not done properly by an experienced manufacturer.

What Makes An Area Rug Toxic?

Nylon rugs and other synthetic carpets release toxins. The National Cancer Institute recommends that people living in homes with nylon rugs should minimize the time they spend in their homes because VOCs could be dangerous to those who breathe them in.

Synthetic rugs treated with formaldehyde, pesticides, and other chemicals which make them fireproof, stain-proof, and water resistant. The steps in making synthetic carpets are fiber extraction, chemical processing, drying, bleaching, galvanizing, or dipping. Other chemicals such as formaldehyde are used for the dyeing process.

Organic rugs are not totally toxic free, cotton, wool, and other natural materials rugs are treated with chemicals after manufacture. Stain resist are usually used in high traffic areas and these rugs will be very useful.  Many carpet manufacturers use various types of chemicals to make synthetic carpets stain resistant like formaldehyde, resins, and other UV light protectors. High temperature is also used to make the fibers stay together.

Stain resistant rugs also contain harmful chemicals. Sometimes these rugs release odor, which is unexpected and harmful to health.

Common Toxins In Area Rugs:

Synthetic fibers rugs:

Synthetic fibers rugs like polypropylene, nylon, and polyester should be avoided because they emit toxic fumes when burned. Synthetic carpets made from recycled materials tend to be less harmful than those made from non-recycled materials.

Natural fibers rugs:

Fiber like cotton, wool, and silk release some toxins. Natural fibers are better than synthetic fibers but they release some toxins when they burn at high temperatures. Wool is a natural fiber and it releases carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other poisonous gases if burned at high heat.

Flame resistant rugs:

Flame resistant carpets are made with a chemical called naphthalene and which contains formaldehyde. When these rugs burn, the two chemicals emit poisonous gases which are very dangerous to breathe in.

Rubber backing:

Synthetic rubber backing rugs also contain chemicals.


The rugs which contain strong dyes release chemicals after manufacture. If you have pets in your house, it is better to use synthetic carpets because animal dander has a lot of microorganisms and they are tough to clean.

Are nylon rugs toxic?

Nylon rugs and carpets are made from the same material. So you get this question is nylon carpet toxic answer from here. Rugs made from synthetic fibers such as nylon or polyester release harmful fumes. These fumes can be toxic or harmful to humans and other animals. But all types of synthetic fibers are not harmful to humans. Polypropylene rugs are not harmful to human health and animals. The dyes used in these carpets were considered safe for animals. The same goes for wool rugs; they are safe for humans and pets.

Does nylon carpet emit VOC?

Yes, nylon carpet emits VOC but not all nylon carpets emit harmful VOC. During the manufacturing process, toxic fumes are released from the carpets. But it is a good idea to have your carpet thrown out if you feel odor from your carpet for a long time. These fumes are released when the carpet is new. But with time these fumes get evaporated and you will not get this smell.


Area rugs made from synthetic fibers like nylon, polyester, and polypropylene are toxic to humans and animals when they are exposed to high heat. When these rugs burn, they release harmful chemicals which may cause cancer or other health issues. Area rugs made from natural fibers such as wool, cotton, or silk are not toxic to humans but if dyed they become harmful.

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