Ecolabels, Quality Labels, and VOC emissions
Quality labels tell you about product performance, and environmental labels (ecolabels) tell you that the product has lower impact on nature or man compared to other products. All these labels are private and voluntary.
Some countries established compulsory evaluation of certain properties, such as European CE marking, German GS marking, restrictions of VOC and formaldehyde emissions in California, in France and in Germany, and quite some more.
Sustainablity of the product through its life time is the basis for some but not all ecolabels.
VOC emissions from construction products are relevant for indoor air quality are regulated in Germany (AgBB guidance and DIBt Ü mark approval of construction products - see information in English, in German, in French), in France, and in Japanese regulations. For formaldehyde there is more regulation available, e.g. European E1 classification and Californian CARB regulation. But in many other countries this issue is subject to voluntary ecolabelling schemes.
There is a special webpage on comparison between different low VOC emissions programs and ecolabels.
List of labels
Some examples for such low VOC emission rating schemes form part of:
- Indoor Air Comfort - Eurofins certified products
- European "Flower" ecolabel
- EMICODE (Adhesives and more, Germany/Europe)
- GUT (Carpets, Germany/Europe)
- Blue Angel (Germany)
- Californian CDPH Standard Practice, also called Section 1350, often used for LEED IEQ specifications
- CRI (Carpets, adhesives, cleaners, USA)
- FloorScore (USA)
- BIFMA (USA)
- Nordic Swan (Scandinavia)
- Umweltzeichen (Austria)
- prEN 15052, ISO/DIS 10580 (Resilient (flexible) floor coverings),
- M1 (Construction products, Finland)
- AFSSET(Construction products, France)
- CertiPUR US (PU foam for furniture industry) (information in English, in French)
- Greenguard (USA)
- DIM / DICL (Construction products, Denmark)
- Swedish "byggvarudeklaration" (Construction products, Sweden)
- Natureplus (Construction products, Germany/Europe)
- Korean label (Construction products, South Korea)
- Chinese ecolabel
- Hong Kong Green Label Scheme
- US Green Building rating system LEED
- A comparison of existing European labels can be found
in the EU research project report ECA #24, or by clicking here.
- Eurofins tests are accepted for many ecolabels.
- There are ISO standards on operation of ecolabels: ISO 14021, 14024, 14025.
Your Eurofins VOC testing laboratory can advise you which tests are required for the different labels. Testing is performed by Eurofins for most of the labels in Europe and also for US market related purposes - for a non-comprehensive list of labels please click here. Eurofins partners with SCS (California) on VOC emission testing for the SCS certification programs. The international presence of the Eurofins laboratories allows you to save money by having tested a product only once, following a testing protocol giving results that are accepted by several national labels. Eurofins can assist you with application for the different national labels.
Besides working for national labels, Eurofins offers an umbrella-like certification programme Indoor Air Comfort - certified products for achieving more reliability and for establishing more trust of purchasers and of end-users, and for showing compliance with all relevant VOC emission rating schemes - in the first run only in Europe.
For more details on certification vs. just labelling, please see also the publication "Product certification - a new tool for good indoor air quality" in Gefahrstoffe 69 (2009) 3, 115-116, see www.gefahrstoffe.de
Contact VOC Testing Laboratories
Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, USA and China: