The Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI) and NSF International are partnering to develop the GEI-NSF standard, a new health-based standard addressing chemical emissions from products. The standard aims to streamline the methods used for measuring and limiting chemical emissions from products and will be developed under the American National Standard Institute's (ANSI) essential requirements for adoption as an ANSI standard. As a result, the standard will be developed with the participation of multiple stakeholders and a consensus committee of government and public health officials, academics, industry leaders, and product users will vote on the standard. A mandatory public comment period also will be required before publication. GEI and NSF are aiming to have the standard complete in 18 months.
"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 componds," says 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."
In other standard-related news, NSF has released a new standard for resilient flooring. NSF American National Standard 332: Sustainability Assessment Standard for Resilient Floor Coverings (NSF/ANSI 332) has been finalized under ANSI and addresses vinyl composition tile, sheet vinyl flooring, vinyl tile, rubber sheet flooring, rubber tile, linoleum sheet flooring, linoleum tile, plymeric flooring, resilient wall base, and resilient stair treads. NSF/ANSI 332 uses a point-based system to award four levels of certification: conformant, silver, gold, and platinum. Products are evaluated on five criteria: product design, product manufacturing, long-term value, corporate governance, and innovation. The process used to develope the standard was based on principles includes the ISO 14000 series standards on life cycle assesment. The standard was open for public comment and voting for a two year period before being approved.