Green Label Program Takes Its Final Bow in 2009
Original Indoor Air Quality Standard is Replaced by Stricter CRI Green Label Plus
As the bells ring out on the year 2009, something else will be making its exit as well – the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Standard. Developed in 1992, the Green Label standard set the first limits on carpet’s emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds. After its planned 5-year transition period, it is time for Green Label to conclude, replaced by the stronger and more comprehensive Green Label Plus standard that was adopted in July, 2004.
Beginning January 1, 2010, there will no longer be any listings on the CRI web site for carpet certified to the Green Label standard. The good news is: all U.S. manufacturers have upgraded their products to meet the GLP program, so no one will be affected by the change. More than anything else, it gives us here at CRI an opportunity to look back briefly on the challenges involved in getting to this milestone in the history of the carpet industry.
The Green Label program developed out of consumer and governmental concerns about carpet’s effect on Indoor Air Quality. The original standard, developed in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, measured four compounds against an established criterion, as well as total volatile organic compounds, or TVOC. As you might expect, the work that went into developing the standard was significant, and interestingly, long before Werner Braun became president of CRI, he was involved in the dialog with the EPA in his role as a toxicologist with the The Dow Chemical Company. (For more on Werner Braun, see this earlier blog.)
Green Label Plus came about as the carpet industry worked to meet the requirements of the California Indoor Air Quality regulation known as CA 01350. (Coincidentally, the California regulation is currently being updated, and the CRI is involved in the process.) Compared to Green Label, Green Label Plus measures 13 compounds against a standard criteria, plus TVOC. Carpets certified under GLP earn credit toward project totals under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED program and are approved for the California Collaborative for High Performance Schools.
Congratulations and thanks to the CRI member companies and others who worked so hard over a decade ago to ensure that carpet is a low-emitting floor covering. Your efforts paid off for all of us.