Thursday, May 23, 2024

What Is Greenguard Gold Certified

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Greenguard Certified Products Contribute To Leed Credits

Munters GREENGUARD GOLD Certification

GREENGUARD Gold certified products can contribute up to three points for furniture and furnishings within LEED version 4, as well as up to four points within LEED v3. And, all GREENGUARD Certified products have publically accessible certificates that make submittal for LEED projects easy. Look for the GREENGUARD Certified products and access certificates on ULs Sustainable Product Guide.

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The Downside Of Greenguard Certification Programs

Though the Greenguard Gold Certification assures VOC levels within a certain threshold, knowing the exact amount of VOC emissions can be challenging. These numbers matter especially if you are sensitive to chemical emissions.

To find out the exact amount of VOC emissions, you need to contact the manufacturers, but once they have the Greenguard certification they dont disclose the exact levels. This makes it difficult for shoppers who have specific chemical sensitivities. In such cases, its better to opt for companies willing to disclose chemical emission details of their products.

The Greenguard Gold Certification does not check for chemical contents in the material. It only measures the emissions from these chemicals.

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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.

How A Mattress Gets Greenguard Certified

GREENGUARD Gold Certification

How does UL Environmental determine whether a product meets the sustainability criteria for GREENGUARD or GREENGUARD Gold certification? In a word, testing.

UL employs what it calls dynamic environmental chambers, which are carefully controlled for both temperature and humidity, ensuring there are no background VOCs to compromise test results.

Mattresses and other products are brought into these chambers, where chemical analysts are able to determine the precise number of chemicals that the product emits. The number can be as low as zero, or as high as 300. The total certification process can take anywhere from a month to half a year, and a mattress may remain in the testing chamber for two full weeks so that analysts can better assess VOC emissions over time.

Even once a product receives GREENGUARD or GREENGUARD Gold certification, the process isnt over. New versions of the product must be submitted for testing on an annual basis.

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Can Vocs Make Us Sick

It depends on individual sensitivities. Usually, VOCs from regular household products are not harmful, but some people may experience nausea, eye, nose, or throat irritation due to VOC emissions. Generally, children and the elderly are more at risk. Their immune systems are unable to fight infections caused by chemicals, making them more vulnerable to VOCs. Airing out certain products like furniture and mattresses limits the emissions.

Who Is Greenguard Anyway

A third-party,not-for-profit organization, The Greenguard Environmental institute, oftenreferred to as GEI, was founded in 2001. Started by a firm known for indoor airquality research and product development, the company offers independentcertification of products designed to meet their standards.

Today the company hastwo product certification programs and one building certification program thatoutside companies can take part in.

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Product Groups Tested Under Ul Greenguard Certification Program

The UL Greenguard Certification Program offers two tiers of certification. The Greenguard Gold adheres to even stricter standards than the Greenguard certification criteria. For example, the Greenguard Certification allows 500 g/m3 total VOCs. This is much more than the Greenguard Gold limit of only 220 g/m3 total VOCs. The Gold standard even checks for additional chemicals. Opt for the Greenguard Gold Certification if you live with children, the elderly, or someone with a weak immune system.

The Greenguard and Greenguard Gold programs include rigorous standards of testing. The products are kept in dynamic environmental chambers for one to two weeks. These chambers are temperature and humidity-controlled stainless steel compartments, ensuring no VOCs.

After one or two weeks, the certifying agencies test the VOC levels in the chamber. If the emission levels are low, the products earn the Greenguard Gold or Greenguard Certification mark.

The UL Greenguard Certification Program tests the following types of products:

  • Building materials, furniture, and furnishings
  • Electronic equipment
  • Medical devices for breathing gas

What Is Greenguard Gold

Greenguard Gold Certified | Pottery Barn Teen

GREENGUARD Gold Certification offers stricter certification criteria, considers safety factors to account for sensitive individuals , and ensures that a product is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities. It is referenced by both The Collaborative for High Performance Schools and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Building Rating System. Achieving GREENGUARD Certification gives credence to manufacturers sustainability claims, backing them with empirical scientific data from an unbiased, third-party organization.

The images on our website can be used to assist in your purchasing decision, but should not be relied on as the sole reference point. Due to variation in computer monitors, mobile devices and printers, the images shown may not exactly replicate the corresponding color, texture or appearance. To verify actual product color, texture or appearance ask to see the actual product, available through a CertainTeed contractor or distributor.

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Does Greenguard Test For Phthalates

The standard Greenguard does not measure phthalates or flame retardants. Phthalates are semi-volatile compounds, which dont break down as fast as VOCs. Prolonged phthalate exposure may affect reproductive health. To limit this exposure, opt for the Greenguard Gold certification because it tests phthalates as well.

What Is Greenguard Gold Certification And What It Means For Your Baby And Your Family

The Greenguard Gold certification is an independent, 3rd party conducted, rigorous evaluation process that tests products for thousands of chemical emissions and VOCs that could affect the health of your baby and family. It offers stricter and clearly defined guidelines for products that are designed for babies and children. The Greenguard Gold seal validates that our mattresses have been tested and are safe for your baby.

The Greenguard Gold seal validates that évolur mattresses have been tested and are safe for your baby. By choosing a Greenguard Gold certified évolur mattress, you are providing your child with a clean and healthy environment to breathe and grow in.

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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.

What Are The Limitations Of The Greenguard Gold Certification Program

Kingspan Achieves GREENGUARD Gold Certification

Greenguard Gold certified products are not 100% VOC-emission-free. They emit the chemical gases to a

certain level, which is certainly very low. In general, the Greenguard certification lets 500 μg/m3 total VOCs emit, whereas the Greenguard Gold program lets the emission of 220 μg/m3 total VOCs.

Similarly, the certification does not get effective in eliminating semi VOCs, that are:

  • phthalates,
  • biocides
  • heavy metals

Moreover, Greenguard certifies the product for low emissions but it doesnt test the chemical content in the product.

On a different note, many mattress sellers dont disclose the VOCs emission levels once they get the certification. Therefore, if you are sensitive towards health issues, you dont know which mattress is exactly safe for you.

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Install An Air Quality Monitor

An air quality monitor is a great addition to any living space. These simple devices plug into a regular wall outlet and monitor the level of pollutants in your environment.

The most basic will give off an alarm if certain chemicals in the air get too high. More advanced models display the actual levels of pollutants in the air .

Some are even battery powered so you can take them from room to room or set them on a shelf out of your little ones reach.

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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Evolur Comfort Cool Flow Foam Crib & Toddler Mattress I Waterproof I Greenguard Gold Certified

  • TRIPLE STAGE DESIGN This mattress is crafted with a cool gel-infused memory foam side that provides comfort for toddlers, an airflow comfort layer, and an extra firm eco-fiber core that provides the right amount of support for infants.
  • SAFETY FIRST, ALWAYS This mattress is Greenguard Gold Certified to ensure the highest level of health, safety and peace of mind.
  • PEACE OF MIND All Evolur mattresses come with our Limited Lifetime 15 Years Manufacturer Warranty.
  • EASY TO MAINTAIN The mattress comes with a removable, washable, soft woven bamboo cover with baby-safe zipper and a waterproof protection barrier that keeps liquids stains away and helps keep the mattress fresh.
  • MADE IN THE USA All our mattresses are designed, engineered and proudly made in the USA using the best quality materials.

What Is Greenguard Gold Certified Mattress

Greenguard Gold Certified Furniture | Pottery Barn Kids

GREENGUARD Goldcertification

. Keeping this in consideration, what does greenguard Gold Certified mean?

Compliant with stringent emission levels for over 360 VOCs, plus a limit on the total of all chemical emissions combined . Products are tested for more than 10,000 chemicals in state-of-the art steel chambers.

Furthermore, how toxic are mattresses? Chemical Off-GassingFlame retardants, formaldehyde, and benzene have been found in some mattresses and can be linked to health issues such as cancer, infertility, and developmental brain disorders. If your mattress is off-gassing harmful chemicals, you’re breathing in those toxins for hours every night.

Similarly, what is GOLS certified?

The GOLS certification is the most respected certification for latex mattresses today. When you purchase a latex mattress that meets the stringent GOLS certification requirements, your mattress is made with pure, certified organic raw materials and it does not contain chemicals, emissions, fillers and/or polymers.

What is the healthiest mattress?

We give it our best rated mattress award!

  • Avocado Green Organic Mattress Review.
  • Live and Sleep Eco Friendly Mattress Review.
  • Plushbeds Latex and Natural Memory Foam Mattress Review.
  • Birch Non Toxic Mattress Review.
  • Eco Terra Organic Cotton Mattress Review.
  • DreamCloud Hybrid Mattress Review.

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Greenguard Children & Schools Certification

In 2005, the Greenguard Children & Schools Certification was launched to address the indoor air quality needs of schools, daycares, and other sensitive environments in which children spend a lot of time. As such, it enforces stricter chemical emissions limits than the original certification. The Greenguard Children & Schools standard is referenced by both the Collaborative for High Performance Schools and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Building Rating System. In 2013, Greenguard Children & Schools Certification was renamed GREENGUARD GOLD Certification.

UL Environment actively engages with its key audiences via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

What Does Greenguard Gold Certification Mean For You

Cutting through the confusion to give you the best indoor air quality possible.

The EPA states most everyday chemical exposure in our lives comes from the air we breathe in our homes, offices, schools, and stores. These airborne chemicals are commonly referred to as volatile organic compounds , which are used to manufacture and maintain building materials and interior furnishings. There can be hundreds of individual VOCs in our indoor air at any one time! Fortunately, consumers have many new product options to lower their exposure to VOCs and improve their indoor air quality.

But how do you sift through the noise to make a good choice? There are many big claims and a lot of confusion about what counts as green in the building products industry. Unfortunately, some manufacturers make misleading claims, and some even use certifications that appear to be official but are weak or even outright phony.

The good news is, many great manufacturers take the time to certify their products with truly stringent, international standards. Smart consumers can quickly identify companies that use well-known, independent, certified standards to make good decisions for their indoor air quality.

GREENGUARD Gold Certification goes a step further to include testing for additional chemicals, lowering total VOCs, ensuring that products are acceptable for schools and healthcare facilities, and compliance with Californias Department of Public Health requirements.

In summary:


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What Greenguard Certified Materials Can I Use

A renovation projectcan be a big task whether youre updating one room or giving your whole home arefresh. Having to worry about buying building materials that wont harm yourfamily shouldnt be part of the equation.

At BuildDirect, we have a range of Greenguard certified products for your home build, update or renovation project.

Greenguard Certification Screens For More Than 10000 Chemicals

Oatey, Hercules, and Harvey Solvent Cements &  Primers Are ...

GREENGUARD Certified products are tested for more than 10,000 chemicals used in the manufacturing of products. GREENGUARD Certified products meet strict limits on the emissions of certain chemicals, and in addition, GREENGUARD Gold certified products meet strict limits on the total VOCs emitted from the product . In fact, GREENGUARD Certified products meet some of the worlds strictest chemical emission limits, so you can feel confident that products will not contribute to poor indoor air quality.

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What Else Is Regulated By Certipur

Flame Retardants

This originally certified that foam is made without PBDE flame retardants .

Later they added that they are also made without TDCPP or TCEP when those started being removed from most foam.

They really should lead the way to eliminate all toxic flame retardants, which I discuss in my post on Flame Retardants).


They say they are made without formaldehyde but the allowable limit for formaldehyde in the final foam product is actually 100 g/m3 .

Yet polyurethane is not made with formaldehyde. Its possible they are allowing for formaldehyde donors, and that in some cases, such as when biocides are added, the final product could still contain formaldehyde up to 100 g/m3!

Other VOCs

Other VOCs that are measured in the testing include benzene, toluene, styrene, and aromatic hydrocarbons.


They say made without prohibited phthalates , and mercury, lead, and heavy metals .

Mercury, Lead, and Other Heavy Metals

While lead is not commonly found in polyurethane foam, it can be. At the time of updating this article in 2022, Certipur states that the foam is made without lead. The executive director actually clarified and said that they allow up to 90 ppm lead, which is below the level allowed in childrens toys.

Unfortunately, Certipur certified foam did recently test higher than that for lead , so its not clear how diligently they are testing the foam.

Why Is This Important

Did you know that indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air? Pollutants originate from activities, products, and materials that we could be using on a daily basis. With the average human spending 90% of their time indoors, would you say the exposure to those pollutants is in the least bit concerning?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency suggests that the average human obtains up to 72% of their chemical pollutant exposure from their own homes! Just imagine, the place we hold as safest could be what is exposing us the most to potentially harmful particles. From poor air ventilation, chemicals, mold, and particulates,all of these toxins can be found in our furnishings, building materials, and household products. All of them contribute to poor indoor air quality, which then could lead to negative health effects and allergies.

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