Indoor Air Quality Certifications Offered by SCS
Testing and Compliance
SCS indoor air quality certification programs are compliant to CA 01350 and ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 test methods. These test methods adhere to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Practice D5116 for small-scale chamber product testing and ASTM Practice D6670 for full-scale chamber testing. The test methods determine individual volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions based on the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment's (OEHHA) Chronic Reference Exposure Levels (CRELs), ANSI/BIFMA X7.1 and ANSI/BIFMA e.3 VOCs of concern.
Product compliance is determined by using the reported emission factors calculated during laboratory testing and applying standard modeling parameters for office, classroom, and/or residential environments. In addition to testing, audits of quality management procedures and facility sites are required to complete the assessment process.
Annual product testing is required, as well as verification of continued compliance of a manufacturer's quality management system with SCS Indoor Air Quality Product Performance Standard for Building Interiors, EC10.3-2014.
In addition to certification under the SCS Indoor Air Quality program, SCS provides many complementary services including, Responsible Source, certification for carpet (NSF 140) and furniture (BIFMA level®), verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), and carbon footprint services. SCS is also an accredited certifier under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for forest products derived from responsibly harvested forests.
Depending on your product category, you may qualify for:
Apply for Certification
Complete and submit an SCS Application Form. SCS scopes the project based on information provided in the application and prepares a proposal for your approval with a suggested timeline and quote. Once you approve the proposal, you sign a Work Order. An SCS account manager is be assigned to guide you through the certification process.
An SCS Auditor reviews submitted product data, corporate quality documentation, manufacturing process, product formulation, previous product testing, etc., evaluates your products and determines a sample plan.
An onsite may be required and will be determined by the auditor. If an audit is required, the auditor conducts an on-site audit to validate submitted quality systems procedures and product data. The auditor interacts with your technical staff to clarify and obtain any additional information that might prove essential to reaching an accurate supportable evaluation.
Draft Assessment Report
The auditor writes a draft assessment report that details the findings of the audit, which includes data analysis, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement.
You respond to any non-conformities with a Corrective Action Plan. You may also make comments and responses to the information contained in the report and the conclusions drawn by the auditor.
SCS conducts a final technical review of the assessment report and makes the final certification decision. If certification is granted, SCS issues the certificate and final report to your facility or operation. Once certified, your company is listed in the Green Products Guide on the SCS website.
Certification Maintenance and Renewal
Annual desk reviews of the quality system and product performance are required under the standard and are conducted to maintain your certification and support continual improvement. Any renewal testing required will be confirmed by the auditor during the evaluation process. Renewal testing is determined based on the applicable Indoor Air Quality Standard.
What is the testing basis for certification?
The basis of all SCS Indoor Air Quality claims is the California Standard Method for VOC Emissions Testing and Evaluation (Standard Method V1.1), otherwise known as CA Section 01350.
What is the difference between VOCs and TVOCs?
VOC (volatile organic compound) reporting usually refers to emission levels of individual VOCs. TVOCs refers to total VOC emissions. It is possible for a TVOC number to mask an individual VOC emission that exceeds its safe limit.
What is the difference between VOCs and the list of California chemicals of concern?
VOCs are an expansive and ubiquitous class of chemicals that are transmitted through air. VOCs are both man-made and naturally occurring. The California Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) maintains an active list of VOCs. The California chemicals of concern are the approximately 3000 chemicals covered by a regulation under development by the California Department of Toxic Substance Control. The regulation is not yet in effect.
Is measuring TVOCs important?
Yes, a TVOC measurement can provide a valuable indication that there may be an excessive level of VOC emissions present. However, it does not reveal individual VOC levels that may be individually excessive, despite an acceptable TVOC test result.
Do you test for phthalates?
Yes, although SCS indoor air quality standards do not include phthalates, SCS affiliated labs have the capacity to test for phthalates.
What is a CREL?
A CREL is a Chronic Reference Exposure Level for volatile organic compounds, as established by the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment (OHHEA).
Does SCS provide certification support?
SCS provides ongoing program support, including on-going staff assistance, marketing and promotional support, and information about new or revised requirements. Certified clients will receive information about the logo approval system and use of SCS trademarks for both on-product and off-product promotions.