VOC News:

A new publication on CEN/TS 16516 (in English) summarizes the new standard for EU-wide harmonized VOC testing, including a comparison with ISO 16000 and EN 717-1 testing, also printed in Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft 74 (2014) 3, 62-68, see www.gefahrstoffe.de.


M1 Finnish label

M1 is the short version name of the Finnish voluntary emission classification of building materials. M1 is the name of the lowest emission class of that system.

The emission classification of construction products for interior use is based on an emission chamber test after 28 days. Chemical testing parameters are TVOC, 1A and 1B carcinogens (EU classification), formaldehyde, ammonia, and an odour acceptability test (modified ISO 16000-28 test, or CLIMPAC test; odour shall be neutral (or better acceptable) under the test conditions).

Further Information

M1 is administered by RTS. For more details, please visit RTS website or any of these links:

News from 1st January 2014

Also in future, M1 requires ammonia and odour testing on top of 28 days VOC and formaldehyde testing, distinguishing the M1 label from the other low VOC specifications.

But a number of significant changes of the M1 label were implemented with validity from 01.01.2014:

  • Loading factors for chamber emission testing are adapted from CEN/TS 16516.
  • TVOC definition is harmonized with CEN/TS 16516.
  • Several details on how to make a test specimen of a product sample are revised.
  • Open storage of test samples before the 28 days no longer is allowed; storage must occur in a test chamber or in a separate storage chamber under controlled conditions.
  • Odour testing no longer requires a separate odour test chamber. Instead, an ISO 16000-28 acceptability odour test is required, e.g. with sampling test chamber air into a gas bag right after the last air sampling after 28 days; odour will be determined then with the air from these gas bags.
  • Fixtures (mounted furniture, e.g. in built-in kitchens) are a new product group available for M1 labelling

It is stated that tests made for other emission classification systems than M1 will be accepted, if the tests are performed by an M1 approved lab, and following the M1 testing methodology. But at the same time, some changes of the test method increased the differences from other low VOC specifications, especially for some paints and for adhesives, but also for doors, windows, and "fixtures" (mounted furniture e.g. in built-in kitchen).

Eurofins Product Testing A/S is working on a solution for combining M1 tests with other tests, such that manufacturers can order one single combined test and receive test data that can serve all low VOC emissions specification across whole Europe, if not even globally. This is possible already today, but the new changes in the M1 test method require a revision of this approach if M1 shall be included in such a global VOC emissions test.

The announcement of the changes issued by RTS also include an announcement of an officially approved testing lab. That announcement could be read such that this is the only approved testing lab. But that is a misunderstanding due to unclear writing. As you can see from the list of approved testing labs for M1 labelling, there is a larger selection, and Eurofins Product Testing A/S is one of the approved labs.

Eurofins services

Eurofins offers documentation of compliance with above specifications on emissions of VOC, aldehydes, ammonia and odour by independent testing.

Costs can be saved if a M1 test is combined with other VOC emissions testing. But please note that

  • RTS requires that the whole M1 test is performed with the same sample and at the same time, for avoiding any error by ageing of sample; you cannot first perform VOC and formaldehyde tests for other purposes and then later decide to add the tests that you are missing for M1 (ammonia and odour) without repeating also the VOC and formaldehyde testing.
  • RTS requires that they approve the selection of representative or worst-case sample for covering a whole group of products in advance; this decision by Finnish RTS can be different from the decision by others on the same subject (e.g. German DIBt or Blue Angel).
  • RTS has different specifications for testing some products than other regulations or labels do.
    This concerns mainly some coatings, adhesives, doors, windows, fixtures (mounted furniture).

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.

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

 

 

Updated by: ROP
Last updated: 10 February 2014