VOC Emissions under Construction Products Regulation
The Construction Products Regulation (EU 2011/305) (CPR) contains an annex with Basic Requirements. BR 3 dealing with hygiene, health and the environment, basically saying in very general terms that any construction work must not pose any harm to hygiene or health of occupants or neighbours, among others by giving-off of toxic gas, or by presence of dangerous particles or gases in the air. BR 3 mentions, among other issues, the emissions of dangerous substances, volatile organic compounds (VOC), greenhouse gases or dangerous particles into indoor or outdoor air.
As all other elements of this regulation, the purpose is not to influence the level of protection - the purpose is to harmonize technical description of products, for facilitating cross-border trade. The plan is that a CE marked product will be accompanied by a Declaration of Performance (DoP) that allows to see whether the product can be sold in the respective EU Member State. In a country without regulation on VOC emissions you still can sell CE marked products with the NPD option ("no performance declared") in the Declaration of Performance.
Probably the emissions of products into indoor air will be declared in the form of performance classes, summarizing the many emissions parameters into a set of short codes. These will be defined by the EU Commission in a so-called "delegated act". This will be the basis of a harmonized specification in the harmonized product standards, and then a harmonized declaration of performance of this property.
VOC emissions (volatile organic compounds) are an important element of occupants' protection. The plan of European Commission to handle this is:
- Product groups with major potential impact on indoor air quality shall include hygiene and health aspects, namely the emission of regulated dangerous substances, after next revision of the harmonized product performance standards that are used for CE marking and the related declaration of performance (DoP).
- This will happen on the basis of mandates to prepare a harmonized product standard issued to CEN by the European Commission; the first mandates were delivered in 2013.
- The requirements in terms of limit values are specified not for the whole European Union, but as national regulation per Member State.
- All such product specific harmonized product performance standards shall make use of a horizontal VOC emissions testing method EN 16516, to make comparable this declared property for all product types. The product standards just add on product specific issues such as how to select samples, how to make a test specimen for VOC testing, etc. These standards will also specify which verification system will be applied, and which role external surveillance will play in that procedure
- The horizontal testing method has been developed in CEN TC 351 WG 2. The resulting standard CEN/TS 16516 was published in October 2013, and Eurofins Product Testing A/S is ISO 17025 accredited and notified for such testing. You may want to see a publication describing CEN/TS 16516, also in comparison with ISO 16000 and EN 717-1 testing (in English) - in Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft 74 (2014) 3, 62-68, see www.gefahrstoffe.de. After additional validation steps, this is expected to published as EN 16516 in 2017.
- Products with always low or even no VOC emissions into indoor air can be subject to CE marking on the basis of a "without testing" (WT) option - or a "without further testing" (WFT) option if an initial testing project showed that any emissions always will be in the best available VOC emissions class. this conclusion can be linked to certain frame conditions, such as maximum thickness of a product.
Eurofins VOC related services
Eurofins offers documentation of compliance with the specifications on emissions of VOC and aldehydes by independent and ISO 17025 accredited testing, and if relevant also with external surveillance (inspections, re-testing), and certification, e.g. in combination with the Eurofins operated certification programme Indoor Air Comfort - certified products.
Eurofins operates both an accredited and notified test house and an approved ÜZ certification body. VOC emissions testing for any program or regulation can be easily combined with tests for other regulations or labels such as Belgian VOC regulation, French VOC regulations, German VOC regulations, EMICODE, German Blue Angel, Finnish M1 and US tests. Such combinations allow to save money compared with separate testing for each of these purposes. One example is the Eurofins Pan-European test package.
Certification and testing services for Ü mark, CE mark and the Eurofins certification program 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
- Testing lab:
(also DIBt approved testing body, and accredited as well as notified testing lab)
Smedeskovvej 38, 8464 Galten, Denmark
Phone: +45 7022 4276
Contact to VOC Testing Laboratories
Please see here contact information of Eurofins VOC testing laboratories in Europe, China and Japan: