The majority of everyday chemical exposure in people occurs through the air we breathe in our homes, offices, schools and other indoor environments. These airborne chemicals are commonly referred to as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are used to manufacture and maintain building materials, interior furnishing, cleaning products and personal care products.
Studies by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other researchers have found that VOCs are common in indoor environments and that their levels may be two to a thousand times higher than outdoors.
There may be anywhere from 50 to hundreds of individual VOCs in the indoor air at any one time. Some may produce objectionable odors at low levels, but many have no noticeable smell. Many VOCs are irritants and can cause headaches, eye, nose and throat irritation, and dizziness. Long-term exposure to certain VOCs may lead to chronic diseases or cancer. At high concentrations, some VOCs are toxic.
The products that we use to build and furnish our indoor environments can have a significant impact on indoor air pollution levels. Products that have achieved GREENGUARD Certification are scientifically proven to meet some of the world’s most rigorous, third-party chemical emissions standards, helping to reduce indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure, while aiding in the creation of healthier indoor environments.
GREENGUARD Certification emissions limits were first used as purchasing specifications for the EPA and the state of Washington for furniture and commercial building products. GREENGUARD Certification criteria have been the basis for the LEED credit for low-emitting furniture since 2002.
GREENGUARD Gold Certification
The GREENGUARD Gold Certification standard includes health-based criteria for additional chemicals and also requires lower total VOC emissions levels to help ensure that products are acceptable for use in environments like schools and healthcare facilities. In addition to limiting emissions of more than 360 VOCs and total chemical emissions.
By choosing products with GREENGUARD Certification, you are creating a healthier indoor environment for your home, office or institution and reducing chemical exposure. GREENGUARD Certification Standards are among the most rigorous in the world, so you can be confident that these certified products live up to their claims.
Extracted from: https://www.ul.com/resources/ul-greenguard-certification-program