IAQ standards move to the neighborhood, flooring among residential products now being evaluated

Home News IAQ standards move to the neighborhood, flooring among residential products now being...

EMERYVILLE, CALIF.—Residential products such as flooring, paints windows and doors are now being certified to a new, stricter standard by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), which recently expanded its Indoor Advantage Gold program.

The same scenarios for testing in offices and schools are now applied to residences, said Stowe Hartridge Beam, SCS’ program manager, in order to determine chronic reference exposure levels (CRELs). Because of building codes, ventilation is different though emissions are the same.

“The same product will result in a higher concentration of compounds in places with lower ventilation like the home,” he explained. “Concerned homeowners can now purchase SCS Indoor Advantage Gold certified products for healthier, safer homes.”

Based on California’s Specification 01350, SCS’ version 1.1 was enacted earlier this year but the company plans to release new versions as regulations and knowledge on the subject change. In fact, SCS already stated that version 2.0 is in the works and slated for release next year.

The revision also proposes adoption of a lower allowable emission limit for formaldehyde, effective Jan. 1, 2012. CA 01350 is the standard on which the industry’s FloorScore and GreenLabel Plus, as well as California Air Resources Board (CARB) outlines are based. “CARB is based on the same research as 01350,” Beam said. “The CREL levels set in 01350 that identify formaldehyde as a carcinogen triggered CARB.”

CA 01350 was released in 2004 and SCS’ version 1.1 is the first revision. Beam reiterated SCS plans to keep the ball rolling with version 2.0, noting work will take place throughout the year and should be ready by January 2011.

Topics for consideration include:

  • Revising current evaluation scenarios
  • Applying scenarios to existing homes, multi-family units, apartments, healthcare and early childhood development facilities
  • Including compounds beyond formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to determine appropriate limits.

Recognizing SCS is one of the key places to go when a company wants to have its products evaluated against industry standards as well as local, state and federal regulations Beam said the company is encouraging anyone interested in participating in the revision to contribute. “It helps everyone involved in the process—from end users to manufacturers.” For more on SCS’ Indoor Advantage

Gold program, call 510.452.8000.

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