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NSF and GREENGUARD To Develop Standard Limiting Product Emissions

Thursday, April 29, 2010

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NSF International, an organization that certifies products and writes standards for consumer goods related to their effects on health and the environment, and the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) announced plans to jointly develop a health-based standard that addresses chemical emissions from products.

The two groups said the standard will offer a streamlined method 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,” the groups said in an announcement on plans for the standard.

Henning Bloech, executive director of the GREENGUARD Institute, said, “Building occupants are exposed to thousands of chemicals emitted from products—many of them harmful—and few programs address more than a small percentage of these compounds.

“I am hopeful that this effort will go beyond existing 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 the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Essential Requirements for adoption as an ANSI Standard. The ANSI standard-development process ensures that the standard is developed in a balanced, open, and collaborative manner with participation from multiple stakeholders to avoid potential conflicts of interest, the two organizations said. A consensus committee made up of government and public-health officials, academics, industry leaders, and product users helps develop and vote on the standard, while a group of experts provides insight and guidance.  Subsequent mandatory public-comment periods allow individual stakeholders and organizations to participate in the development process.

“This collaboration was a natural fit for our two organizations, as GEI and NSF both strive to protect public health as part of their mission,” said Jane Wilson, director of standards development for NSF International. “Integrating GREENGUARD’s expertise in product emissions and NSF International’s expertise in standards development will help to improve indoor air quality.”

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is an independent, not-for-profit organization that offers programs to reduce exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. GREENGUARD certification programs certify products for low chemical emissions, the institute says.

The non-profit NSF International certifies products and writes standards for food, water, and consumer goods that are designed to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. The organization’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.

   

Tagged categories: Green building; Green coatings; Health and safety; Sustainability

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