Carpet does not contribute to Indoor Air Pollution

In recent years, incidents have been reported where health and comfort problems have been associated with VOC’s in people's homes, workplace or in other buildings (VOC’s are organic compounds, which –due to their volatility– may be released by e.g. building materials into the indoor air). These cases were qualified as Sick-Building-Syndrome (SBS) or Building- Related-Illness (BRI). Research shows that emissions from building materials can be a cause for such problems. The best way to minimise VOC emissions in indoor air is to control and reduce these chemicals in all building and furnishing materials.
 

During the last 15 years, carpet producers organized in GUT (Gemeinschaft umweltfreundlicher Teppichboden e.V.) have consistently reduced and controlled VOC emissions from their products.
The acceptable VOC-limit values have been lowered year after year.
 

Immediately after production, GUT-tested carpets emit less than
300 μg/m3 of VOC’s.
They fully comply with the scientifically assessed evaluation scheme for product emissions established within the European Collaborative Action “Indoor Air Quality & Its Impact on Man, Report 18 (ECA 18)” and the German AgBB scheme (Ausschuss zur gesundheitlichen Bewertung von Baumaterialien). 

GUT-system compared with ECA 18 and AgBB

 

ECA 18

Agbb

GUT

µg / m³

3 days

28 days

3 days

28 days

3 days

TVOC

5.000

200

10.000

1.000

300

TVOC without LCI

-

20

-

100

100

STVOC

-

-

-

100

30

R-value

-

>1

-

>1

>1

Cancerogenic
Substances

n.n

10

> n.n

n.n

n.n

 

The graph below shows that VOC-emissions from carpets constantly decrease over time. Today, a carpet fulfilling the stringent GUT-test criteria will not contribute to any Indoor Air Pollution. Very small amounts of VOC will be released only during the first weeks and will then stop. Carpets are safe and do not pose any health risk.

GUT-Control test
GUT product test criteria (extract)

The use of the substances listed below is either forbidden or has GUT-specifiedlimit values for the substances that must not be exceeded. GUTmember’sproducts are in accordance with these criteria.

 

Organic Carriers
(Dyeing Accelerants)

Banned: Di-, tri-, tetra-, penta- and (Dyeing Accelerants) hexachlorobenzenes; di-, tri-, tetra- and pentachlorotoluenes.

Azodyes

Banned: dyes and pigments which, under reductive conditions,

release carcinogenic amines.

Disperse Dyes

Banned: dyes which are classified as ”allergising”.

Carcinogenic Dyes

Banned: dyes which are classified as ”carcinogenic”.

Heavy Metals

Dyes and pigments containing some specific heavy metals as ingredients of the dyeing component are not allowed for dyeing the pile material.

Flame Retardants

Banned: specific halogenous and phosphorous flame retardants.

Active Biocidal
Substances

Biocides that may be contained as active substances in formulations are either banned or a limit value is specified for the active substance or group of active ubstances.

Emissions from
Textile Floor Coverings

Volatile organic compounds from textile floor-coverings are determined in compliance with the test-chamber process. Limit values are specified for a range of compounds.

Odour

The material tested should only have the low-intensity odour typical of a new product.

 

(Visit Product testing on www.gut-ev.de for details)