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AgBB specification and DIBt regulation

Germany

Germany published restrictions of VOC emissions from construction products.

The background to this is the EU Construction Products Regulation, requiring that no construction product should cause any harm to the occupants of a building. As the EU did not specifically detail this requirement, national regulations may interpret this differently.

A German task force of public health authorities, the AgBB, presented an approach for implementing this part of the EU directive. The AgBB used and updated an earlier project on assessment of emissions from carpets (ECA no. 18), for producing its AgBB specifications.

German DIBt institute in Berlin, a public agency for construction products, used this approach for implementing an approval system for several construction products installed in regularly occupied interior spaces, based on documentation of low VOC emissions :

  • Floor coverings (EN 14041, EN 14342), DIBt group #156
  • Liquid floor coatings (EN 13813), DIBt group #156
  • Sport floorings (EN 14904), DIBt group #154
  • Combined floorings, DIBt group #150
  • Coatings for floor coverings, DIBt group #157
  • Underlays, DIBt group #158
  • Adhesives (excluding tile adhesives), DIBt group #157
  • Decorative wall coverings (EN 15102), DIBt group #159
    • Wall coverings are included only if
      • these are not made entirely of paper; this covers vinyl, textile, cork products etc.,
      • or if made of paper, if tomnly if they are photo-printed.

A separate area covers:

CE marked products from the above list can be sold in Germany. But for being installed in German buildings, these have to be approved by DIBt after fulfilling the supplementary DIBt requirements on emissions and carry the Ü mark. External surveillance with yearly factory inspections and re-testing is required for most of these products, but not for coatings and adhesives. For these, re-testing every five years will do.

Please find here latest notified version of DIBt regulation (2009 / 0162). Detailed and updated documents (some of them also in English) can be seen and downloaded from the webpages of German DIBt Section II 4.

Formaldehyde

The German AgBB paper does not include any limitations on formaldehyde. The reason is that formaldehyde emissions from construction products are regulated by law in Germany to a level of 120 µg/m³ after max. 28 days. The regulation issued by DIBt therefore requires compliance with that level of formaldehyde emissions, on top of the original AgBB paper.

Most recent list of NIK / LCI values

AgBB published the 2012 list of its NIK (LCI) values that can be downloaded from German EPA (UBA). Next version is expected during 2015.

A publication on EU-wide harmonized LCI values, awaited since a long time, now is available. LCI values are limit values for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), to be applied on VOC emissions test results after 28 days. Please see also a comparison of the different limit values in different countries and programs: www.eurofins.com/lci-cli-nik-crel.

Procedures

Successful application for the approval and the Ü mark is a prerequisite for entering ther German market - but only for the covered products. Please see our special page describing the application procedures.

Eurofins services

Eurofins offers documentation of compliance with above specifications on emissions of VOC and aldehydes by independent testing, certification ("ÜZ body"), and auditing for the Ü mark if required.

Eurofins operates both an approved test house and an approved ÜZ certification body. AgBB / DIBt testing can be easily combined with tests for other labels such as Belgian VOC regulation, French VOC regulations, German Blue Angel, Finnish M1 and US tests. Such combinations are saving money compared with separate testing for each of these purposes.

Eurofins also offers consulting services for helping companiesin communication with DIBt agency for clear understanding of DIBt requirements.

Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories

Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, USA and China:
www.eurofins.com/voc-contacts.

 

 

 

Updated by: ROP
Last updated: 23 January 2015