ATLANTA and ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) and NSF International have announced the joint development of a health-based standard that addresses chemical emissions from products. The standard is said to streamline the myriad methods currently used for measuring and limiting chemical emissions from products, and will incorporate the most recent science on human health and toxicology to provide acute and chronic chemical exposure limits. The organizations said the final GEI-NSF standard will serve as a tool for sustainability programs; federal, state, and local governments; code officials; architects and designers; health professionals; specifying professionals; and consumers by helping them choose products that minimize air pollutants in indoor environments.

“Building occupants today are exposed to thousands of chemicals that emit from products - many of them harmful - and few programs address more than a small percentage of these compounds,” said Henning Bloech, executive director of GEI. “I am hopeful that this effort will go beyond existing programs and create a new, health-focused leadership standard that consumers, manufacturers, and building codes and rating systems can adopt to minimize chemical exposure.”

The GEI-NSF standard will be developed under the American National Standard Institute’s (ANSI’s) Essential Requirements for adoption as an ANSI standard. The ANSI standard development process is designed to ensure that standards are developed in a balanced, open, and collaborative manner with participation by multiple stakeholders to avoid potential conflicts of interest. A consensus committee made up of government and public health officials, academics, industry leaders, and product users will help develop and vote on the standard, while a group of subject matter experts provides insight and guidance. Subsequent mandatory public comment periods will allow individual stakeholders and organizations to participate in the development process as well.

“This collaboration was a natural fit for our two organizations, as GEI and NSF both strive to protect public health,” said Jane Wilson, director of standards for NSF International. “Integrating GREENGUARD’s expertise in product emissions and NSF International’s expertise in standards development will benefit all stakeholders and ensure an effective and credible process.”

For more information on the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute, visit www.greenguard.org. For more information on NSF International, visit www.nsf.org.

Publication date: 05/24/2010