Protecting the health of EU citizens through improved measurements of indoor pollutants.
European citizens spend more than 80 % of their time indoors but products such as paints, flooring and furniture emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can cause health problems. To reduce adverse effects from VOCs the European standard EN 16516 details mandatory test procedures for determining emissions of dangerous substances into indoor air using emission test chambers. This data is also used in the EU Lowest Concentration of Interest (LCI) list . This list aims at harmonising the health based evaluation of indoor VOCs emissions for a future categorisation of ‘VOC classes’. However, in practice, measurement comparability is compromised by a lack of well-defined emission reference materials (ERM) and traceable gaseous certified reference materials (gCRM). The EMRP project MACPoll developed an artificial ERM but this had shortcomings in its long-term stability and batch reproducibility.
This project will develop an ERM that contains and releases at least two health-related VOCs along with a model simulating the lifetime emission profile of the ERM. In addition, a gCRM for key groups of indoor air pollutants, such as aldehydes, cyclic dimethyl siloxanes and glycol compounds, will be created relevant to the health-related evaluation as stated in the EU-LCI-list. The new materials will be investigated for stability, reproducibility and uncertainty and validated by inter-laboratory comparisons - anticipated to have measurement uncertainties ≤ 5 % and stable enough to be usable for at a least a year.
The standards developing group CEN/TC 351/WG2 will be provided with improved data for future revisions of EN 16516, supporting the implementation of a harmonised health-related evaluation procedure in the EU.