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What is FloorScore Certified?

Posted by J.J.Haines & Company on Mar 11th 2016

What is FloorScore Certified

FloorScore is a voluntary, independent certification program that tests and certifies hard surface flooring and the materials they’re made with to ensure they are in compliance with stringent indoor air quality emissions.

The Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) is an industry trade association of leading resilient flooring manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials, additives and sundry flooring products (adhesives) for the North American market. RFCI developed FloorScore together with Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) to test and certify flooring products for compliance with indoor air quality emission (volatile organic compounds or VOC’s) criteria of the California Section 101350 standard. The FloorScore certification leads to healthier, cleaner air. One of the concerns of indoor air quality is the emission level of specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Poor indoor air quality is caused by inadequate ventilation, poor cleaning and/or excessive emissions of VOCs from surfaces and finishes. Independent studies have shown that we spend as much as 90% of our time indoors at work, home, shopping or children in schools. Breathing air of poor quality you risk health problems such as headaches and dizziness.

SCS also tests other building products for VOC emissions that can impact Indoor Air Quality such as paints, other architectural coatings, sealants, adhesives, wall coverings, floor coverings, ceiling tiles, wall paneling, and furniture components and systems used in public and commercial office buildings, schools, medical buildings, residences and other building types. This standard applies to building products and furniture which are intended for long term use. The standard addresses chronic inhalation exposures of building occupants to toxic, airborne organic chemicals.

FloorScore Certification is a third-party certification created by the Resilient Floor Covering Institute. Experts test hard surface flooring products to certify that they are in compliance with strict indoor air quality standards. Any product that meets these stringent standards is a product that will contribute to good indoor air quality. Essentially, the FloorScore certification means healthier, cleaner air in your home or where you work.

What SCS tests for;

Formaldehyde – Less than or equal to 16.5 µg/m3; and

ii) Acetaldehyde – Less than or equal to 9 µg/m3 ,and

iii) All other organic chemicals with established CRELs – Less than or equal to 1/2 the CREL as listed in the latest edition of the Cal/EPA OEHHA list of chemicals with non-cancer CRELs.

Please note that currently there are no regulations or standards currently in place in the United States or Europe on the use of phthalates in flooring. Phthalates are a group of industrial chemicals used to make plastics like PVC more flexible and resilient. Phthalates are also found in toys, food packaging, shower curtains, plastic medical equipment, household cleaners, cosmetics, personal care products, children’s toys, pacifiers and food packaging.

Others ways to improve Indoor Air Quality is;

  • Improve the HVAC system design and maintenance
  • Improve air filtration
  • Ensure adequate ventilation with clean air. Minimize recycling of indoor air
  • Schedule maintenance and remodel work for minimal impact
  • Control the sources of VOC’s.