Pan-European VOC testing package "Indoor Air Comfort EU"
VOC emissions testing is more and more harmonized across Europe, but still different in detail
In Europe, VOC emissions testing of construction products is harmonized to a large extent via the testing standard prEN 16516. But this regards only the way of testing, not the requirements and limit values. These are specified in a different manner by each relevant regulation, and by several voluntary low VOC labels and certifications.
Some technical differences continue to exist, especially for products that are applied in wet form (coatings, adhesives, sealants and more). Some specifications require more material in the test chamber, other specifications require testing with less material. Some specifications allow some days of separate pre-conditioning before start of test. Other specifications do not accept that. And Germany still uses a different TVOC calculation than other countries.
Eurofins harmonizes most of this into one Europe-wide test setup
Most European low VOC programs go for testing after 3 and/or 28 days storage in a ventilated test chamber. The test results are calculated into air concentrations in the harmonized European Reference Room for most purposes.
This allows to design one single test set-up and obtain the test data that are needed for the very most regulations and voluntary labels in Europe. We just test all relevant parameters at both points of time and then we can report compliance with any existing limit values. Then it can be read with which regulations and labels the product will comply.
This is a Eurofins service that is marketed under the brand "Indoor Air Comfort EU test".
This can cut up to 50% or more of testing costs, compared to separate testing for each program.
The challenge with remaining technical differences is solved by applying the worst-case conditions, meaning the highest amount of product required by any ingoing program. And if not all programs allow a pre-conditioning phase then we skip it for the combined test. This worst-case approach includes that the test result can only be equal or lower, but not higher, for the specific testing conditions per program.
This implies the risk that the product could have complied with a specific label using the test parameters as defined there, but it may fail the test under the worst-case conditions. But on the other hand, if a product passes the worst-case conditions test, then it will pass as well under any easier conditions.
Please see our list of regulations and programs that are included in the "Indoor Air Comfort EU test", and those that are not in but can be added on top.
Next level: Indoor Air Comfort product certification
The Eurofins product certification program Indoor Air Comfort and Indoor Air Comfort GOLD goes beyond that. While using the same test data, the lowest limit values of all VOC regulations in European countries are copied together as criteria for the Indoor Air Comfort label. On top of that, the Indoor Air Comfort GOLD label copies together the lowest limit values of most of the voluntary low VOC labels in Europe.
In addition to that, the label is granted only on basis of a certification process with regular factory inspections and re-testing. All this makes the Indoor Air Comfort GOLD label the "Best-of-the-class" label with the most stringent requirements across Europe.
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: