VOC News:

Will the European Court stop the German DIBt approval system for some construction products? Read more.


Germany(German version)

The EMICODE® is a label for showing low VOC emissions into indoor air from adhesives, sealants, parquet varnishes and other construction products. The EMICODE is administered by GEV. Latest revision is the one of April 2013. Achievable classes now are:

  • EMICODE® EC 1 PLUS - very low emissions PLUS
  • EMICODE® EC 1 - very low emissions
  • EMICODE® EC 2 - low emissions
  • Always supplemented by the letter "R", if legal prescriptions for handling and installing the product exist.

Criteria and limit values

The EMICODE criteria and limit values are the same for all product groups, except parquet varnishes where slightly different limit values apply. Below listed products can be labelled with an EMICODE®:

  • Adhesives for flooring installation, solvent-free
  • Screeds, solvent-free
  • Related primers, solvent-free
  • Underlays
  • Joint sealants, solvent-free
  • Sealings, foam, foils and tapes
  • Parquet varnishes, water-based and low VOC

Limit values refer to testing in a VOC emission chamber after 3 days and after 28 days, simulating the European Reference Room (12 m² surface, 2.5 m high, 1/2 air change per hour, 23°C, 50% relative humidity in supply air).

Solvent content

Any EMICODE labelled product must contain less than 0.5% m/m solvents, where solvent is defined as VOC with boiling point of max. 200 °C.

The only exception is for parquet coatings which may contain up to 8% m/m VOC (VOC as defined in EU Decopaint Directive). But EMICODE® EC 1 PLUS class for parquet coatings requires maximum 8% m/m VOC content.

There are also other limitations on content. For details, please see the general classification criteria, and the classification criteria for parquet coatings.

Market share and more information

In Germany, EMICODE EC 1 adhesives cover some 80-90% market share of all flooring installation adhesives. Also in several other countries the EMICODE EC 1 is regarded as a label for low VOC emissions with high reputation. You can see:

Eurofins Product Testing A/S is the reference laboratory in case of dispute and performs the majority of EMICODE tests for German adhesives industry. Eurofins contributes to development of EMICODE testing standards as guest of Technical Council of GEV.

Comparison with Blue Angel, AgBB and Section 01350

A comparison between EMICODE - Blue Angel - AgBB/DIBt - CDPH Section 01350 (2010) is available in English and in German.

A comparison between EMICODE - Blue Angel - AgBB/DIBt - CDPH Section 01350 is available in English and in German.

Eurofins services

Eurofins offers documentation of compliance with EMICODE specifications on emissions of VOC and aldehydes by independent testing.

Please note that you have to fulfill also other requirements than low VOC emissions for using the EMICODE, such as avoidance of certain chemicals and low solvent content. And several products will need to be labeled as EC x R for indicating that regulations for workers protection will apply. You cannot read these from a VOC test report. For details please see GEV classification criteria.

With each testing request we kindly ask you to submit the GEV product category. Then we can apply the appropriate test to your products.

Further information

For reading more, please download our technical information flyers in English, French or German, or visit the EMICODE website.

Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories

Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, USA and China:

Order forms and testing request forms are available for free download here.


EC 3
Updated by: bdqu
Last updated: 20 February 2015