Why Indoor Air Comfort certified products?
Most people spend more than 80% of their time indoors. Therefore many are concerned about indoor air quality. While this is mainly an issue of proper ventilation, which is not always realized in energy efficient buildings, another important element of indoor air quality is pollution - from surrounding outside air, and from products and materials used indoors.
Emissions of volatile organic chemicals (VOC) from construction products into indoor air are subject to regulations in Belgium, France and Germany. Formaldehyde emissions from wood-based panels are regulated in USA (especially in California) and in some EU Member States.
Numerous voluntary labels indicate that a product shows low emissions into indoor air, often together with environmental criteria. Programs for certification of sustainable buildings such as LEED, DGNB, HQE, BREEAM, Green Star, reward the use of low-emitting products with higher ranking of the sustainable building - among many other criteria.
All these specifications on low VOC emissions from products into indoor air intend to do the same - improve indoor air quality by encouraging use of low emitting products - but they have different criteria and limit values, and different testing methods. And in some countries no such information on low-emitting products is available at all.
The Indoor Air Comfort program by EUROFINS
Within Europe, the EU ecolabel could have decided to offer a combination covering all the European specifications on low VOC emissions into one label, but they prefer just to add another label instead. Now Indoor Air Comfort fills the gap of a pan-European label.
Indoor Air Comfort:
This label combines all European regulations on VOC emissions from products into indoor air - just by copying together the most stringent legal requirements in any EU country into one label. A product labeled with Indoor Air Comfort will comply with the limit values as defined by any regulation across Europe.
Indoor Air Comfort GOLD:
This label combines all relevant European regulations and most of the voluntary labels on VOC emissions from products - just by copying together the most stringent requirements in any EU country into one label. This makes Indoor Air Comfort GOLD the most ambitious low-emitting label in whole Europe.
Indoor Air Comfort and Indoor Air Comfort GOLD include more than testing. These programs include an internal quality program at the production site to ensure continuous manufacture of low-emitting products, including on-site audits, re-testing and certification - all together giving a very high level of reliability of the statement on very low VOC emissions.
More details (regulations, limit values) are in the IAC specification.
Using IAC certified products gives you these advantages:
- You can be sure that the products do not pose a health risk from emitted volatile chemicals. With Indoor Air Comfort GOLD, you use the best-in-the-class products in terms of low indoor air pollution.
- You can be sure that the product complies with all regulations on VOC emissions in any European country. With Indoor Air Comfort GOLD, the product conforms with other private labels as well, such as EMICODE, GUT, and Blue Angel, in terms of low indoor air pollution.
- Indoor Air Comfort GOLD certified products will qualify directly for compliance with low VOC specifications in several programs, such as the FEMB standard for sustainable office furniture, or for the non-US LEED programs and for BREEAM.
- See a list of low VOC specifications that are covered by Indoor Air Comfort and by Indoor Air Comfort GOLD.
IAC Specifications, Documents, Links
- Specifications / criteria and procedures to obtain Indoor Air Comfort or Indoor Air Comfort Gold certificates:
Specifications / criteria and procedures in English, version 6.0 (last edit: 2017-02-15)
- The specifications refer to the Belgian and the German list of LCI limit values for emissions from products. This includes the harmonized European LCI values, as these form part of the other LCI list. You can find the limit values, and links to the most updated LCI lists, here: www.eurofins.com/lci-cli-nik-crel.
- List of certified products
- List of programs for which IAC covers the VOC specifications
- Presentation describing Indoor Air Comfort certification