New Standard to Help Limit Indoor Air Contaminants
4/29/2010 4:25:00 PM
Atlanta and Ann Arbor, Mich.,-- The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) andNSF International announced today the joint development of a health-based standard that addresses chemical emissions from products.
This comprehensive standard will streamline the myriad methods currently used for measuring and limiting chemical emissions from products, and will incorporate the most recent science on human health and toxicology to provide acute and chronic chemical exposure limits. The final GEI-NSF standard will serve as a valuable tool for sustainability programs; federal, state, and local governments; code officials; architects and designers; health professionals; specifying professionals; and consumers by helping them choose products that minimize air pollutants in indoor environments.
"Building occupants today are exposed to thousands of chemicals that emit from products--many of them harmful--and few programs address more than a small percentage of these compounds," said Henning Bloech, executive director of GEI. "I am hopeful that this effort will go beyondexisting programs and create a new, health-focused leadership standard that consumers, manufacturers, and building codes and rating systems can adopt to minimize chemical exposure."
The GEI-NSF standard will be developed under theAmerican National Standard Institute's (ANSI) Essential Requirements for adoption as an ANSI Standard. The ANSI Standard development process ensures thatthe standard is developed in a balanced, open, and collaborative manner with participation by multiple stakeholders to avoid potential conflicts of interest. A consensus committee made up of government and public health officials, academics, industry leaders, and product users helps develop and voteon the standard, while a group of subject matter experts provides insight and guidance. Subsequent mandatory public comment periods allow individual stakeholders and organizations to participate in the development process, too.
"This collaboration was a natural fit for our two organizations, as GEI and NSF both strive to protect public health," said Jane Wilson, director of standards for NSF International. "Integrating GREENGUARD's expertise in product emissions and NSF International's expertise in standards development will benefit all stakeholders and ensure an effective and credible process."
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is an industry-independent, third-party, not-for-profit organization that aims to improve human health through programs that reduce people's exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. The GREENGUARD Certification Programs certify products for low chemical emissions and provide consumers with a resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments. All certified products must meet stringent standards for low chemical emissions based on established criteria from key public health agencies. GREENGUARD Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes worldwide. For more information and a complete listing of certified products, visit www.greenguard.org.
NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide and operates in more than 120 countries. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.
NSF International's Sustainability Program focuses on three areas:product assessment, standards development, and process verification. Product assessments include testing and certification for sustainable products such as green chemicals and building products. NSF also develops standards for sustainability products such as carpet, flooring, and other commercial building materials. NSF International is a leading provider of process verificationservices, which include greenhouse gas verification, environmental footprinting,and environmental management systems registrations.
Additional services includeeducation and training, safety audits for the food and water industries, dietaryand nutritional supplement certification, management systems registrations (e.g.ISO 14001) delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations and organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International).