Tuesday, August 16, 2022

What Does Greenguard Gold Certified Mean

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The Two Different Types Of Greenguard Certification

Munters GREENGUARD GOLD Certification

There are two types of certification that you will see listed on products, so its essential to understand what each type means.

  • Greenguard Certification: The Greenguard certification means the product meets performance-based industry standards for low chemical emissions. These levels were based on the US EPA standards, and they have been the basis for the LEED credit for low-emitting furniture since 2002. This certification tests for a long list of chemical emissions, and they set standards that are safe for the health of indoor air. For example, such certification tests for formaldehyde levels at 0.05ppm .
  • Greenguard Gold Certification: The Greenguard Gold certification tests for an even longer list of chemicals and health-based standards. They also lower the VOC emission standards so that they are suitable for schools and babies bedrooms. That are means that the Greenguard Gold certified products emit even lower levels of chemicals than the original Greenguard certification. This is a great certification for baby and childrens products. For comparison, Greenguard Gold sets emission standards for formaldehyde to 0.0073 ppm. As you can tell, this offers even stricter certification criteria.

Which Is The Healthiest Flooring For Homes

Healthier Flooring Use solid surface flooring instead of carpet. Choose FSC-certified solid wood. Use natural linoleum or tile made in the U.S. Choose low-VOC finishes and sealants. Look for NAF-certified products. Install without glue use nail-down or click-lock. Avoid laminate, vinyl flooring and synthetic carpeting.

Understanding The Need For Certifications

According to the United StatesEnvironmental Protection AgencyVerified SourceEnvironmental Protection Agency Works to control/prevent natural and manmade disasters.View source, Americans, on average, spend 90 percent of their time indoors. Pollutants in indoor spaces can be five times denser than the outdoor air. This is caused due to chemical emissions from some of our regular household items.

These emissions happen when VOCs , present in certain products break down at room temperature. VOCs are carbon-based chemicals, which convert to gases and dissipate in the air. There can be 50 to 100 different VOCs in our indoor environment.

VOCs can be present in building materials, furniture, or even cleaning products. Be careful when choosing tiles, cabinets, mattresses, or even floor cleaners. They contain VOCs, which may be harmful to your health.

Some VOCs cause an off-gassing odor, common in a freshly painted room or a new mattress. This odor may cause nausea or breathlessness in some people, but it is not considered harmful. The health impact of VOCs depends on factors such as:

  • The level of concentration
  • Individual sensitivities
  • Ventilation of the room

There are no state or federal laws regulating VOC emissions, but many public health agencies and private programs recommend minimum exposure if possible.

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How Are Products Tested

Products are tested by sitting in dynamic, environmentally controlled chambers for a period of time to determine how many VOCs gas off. Testing can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. After the testing period is over, the levels of VOCs in the stainless-steel chambers are measured. If the emission levels are low, then a GREENGUARD or GREENGUARD Gold certification is awarded.

Why Should You Care

GREENGUARD Gold Certified Crib Mattress  What Does it ...

You wouldnt want to sleep on a mattress thats actively bad for your health and the environment, right? Well, thats why we adhere to the strict standards set by these two certifications: We care about you and your health, as well as the quality of the spaces we inhabit.

If youre shopping for a mattress, you should look for these certifications because whatever mattress you end up with, it should improve your health and quality of life not make it worse.

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What Is Clean Air Gold

Clean Air GOLD Certification promotes environmentally friendly sustainable signage. Having this certification allows you to: Measure the environmental impact of product VOC emissions for Indoor Air Quality. Benchmark product components to industry standards. Stay compliant to LEED EQ Low-Emitting Materials credit.

Furniture For Healthcare Environments

Like children, people who are ill are particularly vulnerable to VOCs, as their bodies immune systems are not as ready to fight off allergies or toxins. GREENGUARD Gold Certified furniture should always be sourced where possible to alleviate the risks of airborne matter causing further health complications.

The same can also be said for laboratory environments, where air quality has is strictly controlled, and any contaminants can be detrimental to the ongoing activities, or even hazardous.

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Newton Baby Is Proud To Be Greenguard Gold Certified

In the first years of life, your baby spends a lot of time sleeping. And, chances are, the majority of that sleep will occur in a crib or other baby bed. You can give your little one the best and safest sleep possible with a Newton Baby Crib Mattress.

Our mattresses are built with Wovenaire® technology a patented cushioning material that replaces foam, latex, and springs. Its made of the same 100% recyclable food-grade material used in yogurt containers!

Wovenaire is 90% air by volume, which makes it incredibly light and, well, airy. Its GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which, as we discussed, means its tested and certified to have the lowest chemical emissions possible.

In addition, Wovenaire is hypoallergenic and doesnt leach toxic chemicals in the way foam and latex can. All this makes Wovenaire the perfect choice for your baby.

In fact, all of our mattresses, covers, and pads have been independently tested and certified by the Underwriters Laboratory to meet GREENGUARD Gold standards for the lowest chemical emissions.

These standards among the most rigorous in the world ensure the lowest measurements of chemical emissions, such as VOCs, and certify that our products promote healthier indoor air quality.

With Newton Baby, you can rest assured your little one is sleeping safely!

For more information on helping your baby get the best nights sleep possible and to check out our crib mattresses, sheets, pads, and swaddles, visit NewtonBaby.com today.

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Certifications Labels And Greenwashing: What You Need To Know

Greenguard Gold Certified | Pottery Barn Teen

In our research of crib mattresses, travel cribs, and bassinets, we came across a variety of certifications, labels, and claims that left us scratching our heads. As educated, experienced researchers in the field of baby gear, we realized that if these things were new and undefined for us, that our readers were probably as confused as we were. Thus began a significantly grander project of determining what all of the certifications mean, if they have any merit, what the difference is between an “eco-label” and third-party certification, and what the heck is happening with all this greenwashing. Read on to find out what you should look for, what you should ignore, and how to use the information when choosing your next mattress or baby gear.

Crib Mattresses a Key Focus

With an ever-increasing plethora of products using environmentally friendly materials, organic components, and claiming benefits for health and the environment, it is time someone pulled the wool off the eyes of the consumer so you can determine what is best for you and your family.

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How Does Floorscore Compare To Greenguard

When a Floorscore certificate indicates total VOCs of 0.5 mg/m3, this is the same level as standard GreenGuard .

Therefore, if a product has GreenGuard Gold instead of Floorscore 0.5 mg/m3, the certification could indicate it offgasses a significantly lower level of VOCs.

If a company uses Floorscore they will use this across the board. It doesnt help to differentiate which products are lower in offgassing.

You can see this dilemma in action when Mohawk bought Pergo floors and the laminates went from GreenGuard Gold to Floorscore certified .

Mohawk makes many other flooring lines that I doubt would meet GreenGuard Gold I suspect thats why they use Floorscore across the board.

All major flooring brands sold in the US and Canada likely meets the legal VOC limits in California and therefore meet Floorscore.

A flooring should certainly be able to achieve the lowest tier of less than 0.5 mg/m3, in my opinion. And most floors do.

Some Facts About The Indoor Environment

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency , Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors , which the concentrations of some pollutants are frequently up to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. For instance, according to the World Health Organization , indoor air pollution is responsible for the deaths of 3.8 million people annually.

Moreover, individuals who are usually most vulnerable to the harmful effects of pollution tend to spend even more time indoors. For instance, infants, elders, people with pre-determined health conditions, etc. are at the utmost risk. Also, indoor concentrations of some pollutants have augmented recently because of factors like energy-efficient building construction and the rise in the use of synthetic building materials, furnishings, etc.

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What Does Greenguard Gold Certified Means

Greenguard Gold Certified mattresses indicate that they are safe and non-pollutant for the indoor environment. Thus, they improve indoor air quality. The certification ensures that a furniture mattress has low chemical gas emission that has to be used at homes, educational institutes, medical centers, shopping malls, and everywhere. In order to get the certification, a mattress is tested for air quality where it is examined for almost 10,000 chemicals yearly. If the mattress becomes successful in getting the certification, it means that it comes with low emission of volatile organic compounds .

All four kinds of Greenguard certifications are effective, recognized, and appreciated worldwide.

Does Greenguard Gold Mean Anything

Greenguard Gold Certified: Safe

GREENGUARD Gold Certification means products emit even lower levels and incorporate a really low level of formaldehyde emissions specifically, Steady says. Kids are more susceptible to indoor air quality problems. They breathe more per body weight, so they get a bigger dose of whatevers in the air.

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What Is The Greenguard Gold Certification

The Greenguard Gold Certification ensures the interior products are low in chemical emissions, decreasing indoor pollution levels. This program sets the most stringent guidelines for total VOC emissions. Greenguard Gold Certified products emit minimal gases. They maintain healthy indoor air quality, by reducing our chemical exposure.

Greenguard Certified Furniture: Everything You Need To Know

The furniture finishing industry is somewhat renowned for its use of questionable chemicals and behind-the-curtain practices. At one point in time, craftsmen used natural finishes like oil and wax or shellac.

But somewhere along the line there was a movement towards more durable, highly engineered wood finishes.

While these advancements in technology created finishes that are more durable, easier to apply, and cheaper than the traditional alternatives, they have also added some concerns about environmental sustainability and toxicity.

Just check out the standard warning that the State of California requires on many of the most common finishes sold in the US today:

WARNING: This product is known to the State of California to cause birth defects and other reproductive issues.

This movement towards chemically engineered wood finishes has created enough concern among consumers that third party testing organizations have sprung up to evaluate the safety of these finishes. One of the most common standards for verifying the safety of wood finishes is GreenGuard Certification.

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United States Department Of Agriculture Organic

The USDA governs the farming practices of certain crops, including cotton. While less common than the GOTs certification, you may see a USDA Organic certification. This certification applies to the fiber crops as opposed to the final product itself like you find with GOTS.

From the USDA website:

Interestingly, on the USDA website, we also read:

This information gives us pause because we saw this certification label on products for baby, including mattresses and mattress pads. What does this mean for you? Probably very little.

The Takeaway?

If you see this stamp that is okay, but it doesn’t mean the same thing as GOTS and likely should not be used for mattress products, so don’t get excited.

Greenguard Certification Vs Greeguard Gold Certification

Greenguard Gold Certified Furniture | Pottery Barn Kids

Greenguard certification started in 2005 as Greenguard kids and Greenguard School programs to provide a less polluted environment for children. The program was used to provide Greenguard Gold furniture and cribs for children. Later, the program got matured and it started testing furniture, mattresses, home-related articles, electronics, and kids products. If an item is Greenguard certified that it emits a low amount of VOCs in order to meet the air quality standards on a fundamental level.

However, later the greenguard program evolved and became more effective. It was named as Greenguard Gold Certification program in 2011. If a mattress or product earns this certification, it means that it emits absolutely zero or almost zero VOCs.

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Why Is Greenguard Certification Important

VOC emission is toxic because it develops ozone & fine particulates in the natural atmosphere and makes the environment smoggy and polluted. For humans, it causes breath-related illnesses like allergies, nausea, asthma, and irritation to the throat, nose, and eyes. In some cases, it causes even cancer and harms the nervous system. Sensitive children and adults get victimized by the presence of VOCs.

For our health commitment, limiting the emission of VOCs to the maximum is crucial. And, Greenguard certification program asks the mattress companies to go through field and lab procedures to meet its required standards that certify that a mattress has the least amount of off-gassing. Thus, a Greenguard Gold certified mattress is non-toxic & safe.

Greenguard Certification Vs Certipur Us Certification

CertiPUR US Certification
It tests and certifies a mattress for low VOCs emission only.Certipur US Certification tests and certifies Polyurethane foam material for emission, content, and durability. These foam materials are to be used in mattress construction.
.This certification ensures that a mattress is safe for kids and adults in terms of indoor air quality.CertiPUR certification body does not certify the finished products rather, they deal with the foam contained in a mattress.
It tests the mattresses of a company every year in order to issue the certificate.The certification body tests the mattresses of their client companies twice a year, and then, issues the certificate.

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Volatile Organic Compounds And Its Unfavorable Consequences

Volatile organic compounds are airborne chemicals that people are exposed to on a daily basis, which VOCs are released by a variety of products. For instance, formaldehyde is considered to be one of the most widespread VOCs chemicals. It is a colorless and strong-smelling gas that is used in order to manufacture building materials such as particleboard, plywood, glues, etc. Other specific examples of VOCs chemicals are benzene, ethylene glycol, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, xylene, and 1,3-butadiene.

The harmful consequences of VOCs can cause several symptoms such as headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation, and dizziness. To make matter worse, a high concentration of these airborne chemicals can be very toxic, and even with a long-term exposure of a moderate concentration of VOCs can cause serious diseases or cancer. Nevertheless, VOCs may impact people differently based on several aspects, such as the level of VOCs concentration, the duration of exposure, individual sensitivities, ventilation of the room, etc.

For this reason, GREENGUARD Certification tests products in the strictest possible way. Products such as building products and furnishing, electronic equipment, medical devices for breathing gas pathways, and cleaning and maintenance products.

What Does It Mean To Be Greenguard Gold Certified

UL GREENGUARD Certification Program

GREENGUARD Gold Certification means products emit even lower levels and incorporate a really low level of formaldehyde emissions specifically, Steady says. Kids are more susceptible to indoor air quality problems. They breathe more per body weight, so they get a bigger dose of whatevers in the air.

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Greenguard And Greenguard Gold Certifications

GreenGuard has two levels of certification that measure VOC levels in products.

GreenGuard allows 500 g/m3 total VOCs.

GreenGuard Gold allows 220 g/m3 total VOCs.

For reference, the average house has a total VOC level of about 200 g/m3, and the outdoor or background rate is about 1/10th of that .

GreenGuard Gold certification is the most useful of all the healthy product certifications out there for VOCs.

What Does Greenguard Mean For Hardwood Flooring

Since 2009, all of our hardwood and laminate flooring products have met the GREENGUARD Certification criteria. Simply put, GREENGUARD Certification means that a product has met some of the worlds highest standards for low chemical emissions. Low chemical emissions mean cleaner air, which equals a happier you.

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What Does Greenguard Mean For Assessing Safety

GreenGuard levels keep overall VOCs below limits that would adversely affect the health based on the current state of knowledge.

However, for extremely sensitive people who are already compromised by toxin exposure, the level of VOCs in an average house is unacceptable, so even GreenGuard Gold levels may not be tolerable, especially when at the upper limits. Laminate flooring for example is not suitable for most people with chemical sensitivities, but engineered wood is.

My posts provide guides on the most important areas to focus on in a healthy house: Flooring, Cabinets, Insulation, Glues & Caulks, Paint, and Sealers.

Products, of course, are cumulative in a space. So it is important, especially when building new, to keep each material as low in offgassing as possible.

The GreenGuard tests attempt to show real life levels of VOCs, that might be expected in a regular-sized room after 7 days.

I recommend GreenGuard Gold as the best certification for people who are healthy, but I would always aim for outdoor levels of VOCs for those who are health compromised.

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