VOC Emissions Testing and VOC Content Testing

As a laboratory that provides testing services and third-party certification for manufacturers seeking designation that their products are “green”, we are often asked the difference between VOC emissions testing and VOC content testing. There is a difference.

VOC emissions testing identifies both the type of VOC compounds emitted from a product into the air we breathe and the amount of those emissions. Many consumers are aware of the “new car smell” or the smell of fresh paint on a wall, yet many are unaware that certain VOCs emitted from these products can present a health hazard. MAS conducts VOC emissions testing using the protocol developed as part of the MAS Certified Green® emissions testing program, that incorporates the ANSI/BIFMA and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) testing protocols. MAS typically tests furniture products (workstations, seating, tables, desks, etc.) and building products such as paints, adhesives, carpet, and flooring using environmental testing chambers operated under controlled temperature and relative humidity conditions. Tests range from 7-days to 14-days for compliance testing, and MAS can also perform R&D, screening, and specialty testing for longer or shorter time periods depending on the client’s objective. MAS can model VOC concentrations for individual compounds using room volume and air exchange rates to determine compliance with ANSI/BIFMA, CDPH, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) low-emitting material criteria.

VOC content testing only identifies the percentage by weight of volatile compounds that are present in a particular product or sample. The presence of VOCs does not always indicate or correlate to what will be emitted from a product. MAS is often asked to provide VOC content information on adhesives, sealants, and coatings, and these tests are performed using EPA Method 24 Determination of Volatile Matter Content, Water Content, Density, Volume Solids, and Weight Solids of Surface Coatings protocol for compliance with the South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1113 Architectural Coatings, and Rule 1168 Adhesive and Sealant Applications. Clients also ask MAS for VOC content testing to determine their responsibilities under California’s Prop 65 regulations.

The MAS Certified Green® Program is accredited by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) as a testing body for VOC emissions under ISO/IEC 17025:2017 (certification number 2925.01), and as a third-party certifier for VOC content and VOC emissions under ISO/IEC 17065:2012 (certification number 2925.02).

For more information on VOC emissions and content testing, or if you are interested in having your products tested, please contact us via our website (www.mascertifiedgreem.com), or call MAS at 800-421-8451.

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