A simple model is proposed to account for observed emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from new carpets. The model assumes that the VOCs originate predominantly in a uniform slab of polymer backing material. Parameters for the model (the initial concentration of a VOC in the polymer, a diffusion coefficient and an equilibrium polymer/air partition coefficient) are obtained from experimental data produced by a previous chamber study. The diffusion coefficients generally decrease as the molecular weight of the VOCs increase, while the partition coefficients generally increase as the vapor pressure of the compounds decreases. In addition, for two of the study carpets that have a styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) backing, the diffusion and partition coefficients are similar to independently reported values for SBR. The results suggest that prediction of VOC emissions from new carpets may be possible based solely on a knowledge of the physical properties of the relevant compounds and the carpet backing material. However, a more rigorous validation of the model is desirable.