VOC News:

German DIBt approval system for low emitting construction products is about to change. Applications for approval by DIBt are not possible any longer for CE marked products.

 

For an update on the status as of February 2016, read more in our VOC Blog.


AgBB specification and DIBt regulation

Germany

Germany(German version)

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.

Situation changes for some product groups

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

This regulation will be terminated and substituted by a new ABG regulation on 15 October, but still required until that date, for the following product groups:

  • 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
  • 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.;
      • paper-made wallpapers only if they are photo-printed.

No change for some product groups

This regulation will continue to be required on the German market also after 15 October for the following product groups:

  • Adhesives (excluding tile adhesives), DIBt group #155
  • Coatings for floor coverings, DIBt group #157
  • Underlays, DIBt group #158

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 AgBB 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.

Most recent list of NIK / LCI values

LCI values are limit values for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), to be applied to VOC emissions test results after 28 days.

AgBB published the 2015 list of its NIK (LCI) values that can be downloaded from German EPA (UBA). Compared to the 2012 version, it contains significant changes, see our VOC Blog. Firstly, the LCI values are harmonized with the European LCI values, as far as such limits are available. And several VVOCs now have an LCI limit, such as formaldehyde (100 µg/m³), acetaldehyde (1200 µg/m³), butanal (650 µg/m³), and acetone (1200 µg/m³).

Another new LCI limit was assigned by AgBB to the SVOC "Other saturated aliphatic hydrocarbons C17 to C22" (1000 µg/m³); earlier these were subsummized under the TSVOC (100 µg/m³). Now having an LCI value, these substances shall not be included in the TSVOC any longer for AgBB, but in the TVOC. That change leads to a fairer and more appropriate evaluation of mixtures of aliphatic hydrocarbon mixtures than before.

The AgBB limits are explained in a list here: www.eurofins.com/agbb2015-limits.

Please see also a comparison of the different limit values in different countries and programs: www.eurofins.com/lci-cli-nik-crel.

When to apply which NIK (LCI) list for DIBt testing?
  • Tests for new approvals, or for renewals:

Until 24th Feb 2016, a manufacturer can select whether they want to apply the AgBB 2012 or 2015 LCI limits.

  • Test within surveillance during validity of the approval:

During tests from inspections, the main goal is to show that the approved product and the inspected products are the same in terms of emissions into indoor air. For that reason, the same test conditions apply as for the test that was the basis of the respective approval - and therefore, earlier versions of the AgBB LCI limits may apply.

Procedures

Successful application for the approval and the Ü mark is a prerequisite for entering ther German market - but only for the above listed 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, external surveillance (inspections, re-testing), and certification ("ÜZ body") 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 regulations or labels such as Belgian VOC regulation, French VOC regulations, Lithuanian VOC regulation, EMICODE, German Blue Angel, Finnish M1 and US tests. Such combinations allow to save money compared with separate testing for each of these purposes.

Certification and testing services for Ü mark, CE mark and the Eurofins certification programme Indoor Air Comfort - certified products can be ordered in parallel for use on different market segments - there will be significant costs saving when compared to ordering these services separately.

Contact to surveillance and testing services

  • Surveillance and Certification body:
    (also DIBt approved surveillance and certification body)
Eurofins Consumer Product Testing GmbH
Am Neuländer Gewerbepark 4
21079 Hamburg, Germany
Phone: +49 40 492 94 6815
Email UZ-certification@eurofins.com
.
  • Testing lab:
    (also DIBt approved testing body)
Eurofins Product Testing A/S
Smedeskovvej 38, 8464 Galten, Denmark
Phone: +45 7022 4276

Email voc@eurofins.com

Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories

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

Updated by: ROP
Last updated: 06 February 2016