January 23, 2008

3G Mermet

Eco-Trend Corp.

M/W International

SitOnIt Seating

3G Mermet

Eco-Trend Corp.

ITW Plexus

SitOnIt Seating

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2211 Newmarket Parkway
Suite 110
Marietta, Georgia 30067




GEI Funded Research Finds that "Green" Products Can Still Create Problems
In a recently completed study funded by GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), there was preliminary evidence that "green" low-emitting products may still cause increased chemicals in indoor environments. The study, conducted by Chi Phuong Hoang, a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin's Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering program, revealed that even "green" wall, flooring, ceiling and cabinetry materials can cause "secondary" emission of chemicals when exposed to naturally occurring ozone in the indoor air.

Many green materials are bio-based and, as a consequence, may react even with low levels of ozone that naturally occur in the air. Chi looked at ten such bio-based materials. Her conclusions were startling: while the materials did not themselves emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the indoor air, they reacted with ozone to create "secondary" emissions of VOCs. The three products that were found to emit the most secondary emissions were green ceiling tiles, natural cork wallpaper and wheat board.

Secondary emissions of VOCs may still harm human health. Other examples of secondary emissions is when porous materials, such as upholstery, carpeting and ceiling tiles, absorb primary emissions from high emitting building products and materials, and re-emit them into the indoor air. This is often referred to as the "VOC sink effect." To help avoid this problem, its good practice to apply wet products (paints, adhesives, coatings) before installing porous materials.

"The research confirms the importance of analyzing the impact that building products and materials may have on indoor air," said Carl Smith, GEI's CEO. "The interactions of the chemicals produced by products requires additional research into their reactions and impacts on human health and the environment."

Indirectly, the study reveals limitations of current measures of "green" products. Indoor air is a complex mix of chemicals, allergens and particles that react in ways that could potentially harm human health. While measuring the primary chemical emissions from products begins to address some of these issues, it still does not adequately predict all of the chemicals that might be present in indoor environments. GREENGUARD Certification provides the most comprehensive and rigorous method for measuring chemical emissions and selecting products that release fewer contaminants into the indoor air.

Chi's study was funded by the GEI Ken Dillon Memorial Fellowship, named in the memory of W. Ken Dillon, a noted public health researcher who served on GEI's Advisory Board. The fellowship supports graduate students seeking to better understand the impact of indoor air on the health and well being of building occupants. For the complete results of this funded study, visit click here. For information on future studies or to express interest in applying for future fellowships, please write to info@greenguard.org.


GREENGUARD Expands International Reach - Leading Japanese Manufacturer Earns Certification for Furniture Products
GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is pleased to announce the certification of the first Japanese manufactured furniture products by Okamura Corporation. This marks an exciting step for GREENGUARD towards broadening its global reach as an international ecolabel. Okamura joins a growing list of international manufacturers with GREENGUARD Certified products, including BASF (Germany), Cosentino, S.A. (Spain), Freudenberg (Germany), Knauf Insulation (Germany), and Saint-Gobain (France).

"We applaud Okamura for being the first Japanese company to attain GREENGUARD Certification for their furniture products," says Carl E. Smith, CEO with GEI. "As a recognized world leader and one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the world, Okamura's participation in the GREENGUARD Certification Program demonstrates true environmental leadership in their market." In addition to the Contessa Task Chair, which was certified in 2003, Okamura added three seating series (Baron/Okamura CP, Grata, Visconte) to its GREENGUARD Certified product range, which were introduced at the Eco Products Fair in Japan in December 2007.


GREENGUARD 2008 Memorial Fellowship Winners Will Examine Design Process/Chemicals to Determine Affects on Health
GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI), the pre-eminent brand in indoor air quality, congratulates the recipients for this year's Ken Dillon Memorial Fellowship for Indoor Environmental Quality Design. Two proposals from prominent graduate programs will receive grants for $3,500 to investigate critical issues to the professional building community, ranging from the role of the architect in developing healthy indoor environments to the presence of phthalates, a potentially dangerous chemical in indoor air.

"We are pleased to see that indoor air quality continues to be a topic of interest for students as demonstrated by this year's impressive applications," says Carl Smith, GEI CEO. "We believe the results of these studies will support GEI's mission to protect quality of life and public health through healthier indoor environments."

Upcoming Events
In the next few months, GREENGUARD will be participating in several events. For more information, please visit the Events tab listed under About GEI.

Surfaces 2008 (GEI attending)
Sands Expo & Convention Center - Las Vegas, NV/January 29th - February 1st, 2008

2008 International Builders' Show (GEI attending)
Orange County Convention Center - Orlando, FL/February 13th - 16th, 2008

GEI Webinar (sponsored by GRAINGER)
Online Webinar/February 27th, 2008, 12:00pm and 4:00pm EST

Greenprints (GEI attending)
Westin Peachtree Plaza - Atlanta, GA/March 13th & 14th, 2008

International Window Coverings Expo (GEI exhibiting)
Georgia World Congress Center - Atlanta, GA/March 26th - 29th, 2008

For a snapshot of GEI's 2008 events, click on 2008 Calendar under the About GEI/Events tab. We will continue to update this information, and appreciate any feedback from you.

© 2008 GREENGUARD Environmental Institute