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
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.
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.
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."
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
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.
2008 Memorial Fellowship Winners Will Examine Design
Process/Chemicals to Determine Affects on Health
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
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
the next few months, GREENGUARD will be participating
in several events. For more information, please visit
tab listed under About GEI.
2008 (GEI attending)
Sands Expo & Convention Center - Las Vegas, NV/January
29th - February 1st, 2008
International Builders' Show (GEI attending)
Orange County Convention Center - Orlando, FL/February
13th - 16th, 2008
Webinar (sponsored by GRAINGER)
Online Webinar/February 27th, 2008, 12:00pm and
Westin Peachtree Plaza - Atlanta, GA/March 13th &
Window Coverings Expo (GEI exhibiting)
Georgia World Congress Center - Atlanta, GA/March
26th - 29th, 2008
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 |