Pilot IAQ Certification Program
Last year, GEI launched the Premier pilot program, a comprehensive product certification schedule that matches existing indoor air quality criteria with additional chemical emission requirements. For a select list of critical chemicals, GEI also mandates new chemical content requirements.
The program specifically addresses exposure assessments for formaldehyde and other VOC emissions. According to Bloech, GEI has added additional guidelines for individual toxic substances. The health-based ratings also include an acute exposure rating that addresses the chemicals that affect humans immediately upon exposure.
"We're also evaluating different exposure routes with this certification," Bloech says. "Now we're considering contact and ingestion exposure for key compounds— which is vital in places like day care centers where children might put objects in their mouths."
Although the program has more bearing upon manufacturers of building products than on the end users, the GREENGUARD Premier Certification Program has a trickle-down effect for facility managers. In short, the program will guide manufacturers in meeting today's market needs.
According to Mandi Joyner, communications manager for GEI, key elements of the standard include additional guidelines for acute exposure (short term); assessment of reproductive and carcinogenic substances; and control of critical pollutants including lead and phthalates.
"The health-based pilot program offers an integrated and stringent approach to controlling indoor sources of environmental pollutants," she says. "The standard will set acceptable emissions from building materials, finishes, furnishings (including furniture), and building processes used in commercial, residential, educational, and healthcare environments."