ATLANTA - GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) has added products used in early childhood and higher education environments to its list of GREENGUARD Children and SchoolsSM certified products.
Fleetwood is the first manufacturer to attain GREENGUARD Children and Schools certification for children's play furniture and accessories. With the growth in day care centers and early childhood education, the availability of these products is instrumental in protecting the air that children breathe on a daily basis. Children spend 85 percent of their time indoors. In fact, children receive approximately 75 percent of their environmental exposures indoors, which is not surprising since the indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.
"With the negative impact of poor indoor air quality on respiratory disease, educational productivity and operational costs, it is critical to take all possible steps to improve the quality of air that our children are breathing," explains Dr. Marilyn Black, founder of GEI. "The availability of low-emitting products for children's environments comes just in time as asthma rates in children under the age of five have increased 160 percent in the past decade."
Reaching to the higher educational environments, KLN Steel Products joins KI in providing extensive product lines of GREENGUARD-certified dormitory furniture. Fleetwood and KLN join a long list of manufacturers who have related GREENGUARD-certified products for juvenile and educational environments including Group Lacasse, Q Collection Junior, Artco-Bell, KI, Palmer Hamilton, Claridge, Draper, Da-Lite, Sico America, Smith System, Virco, Lifekind, Naturepedic, Organic Mattresses, VS America, and Lenovo.
"Higher education providers, parents and students have the assurance that products carrying the GREENGUARD certified mark have undergone rigorous testing and meet some of the most stringent health-based chemical emission standards in the world," adds Dr. Black.
GEI introduced its Children and Schools standard in 2005. This standard takes into account the special sensitivities of children—the fact that they breathe faster and actually inhale a larger dose of pollutants per body weight than adults. The standard requires that all products be tested for a wide range of chemicals and that they meet stringent health-based criteria for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including formaldehyde and phthalates. Products have been tested and evaluated according to the California 1350/DHS requirements, and they have been evaluated for a more expanded list of potential pollutants.
About GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI)
Founded in 2001, GEI is an industry-independent, nonprofit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM. The Institute's mission is to protect human health and quality of life through programs that improve indoor air that people breathe. As an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer, GEI establishes acceptable indoor air standards for building materials, interior products, electronic equipment, indoor environments, and buildings. The more than 200,000 GREENGUARD-certified products must meet stringent; third-party standards for low chemical emissions based on established health standards and undergo rigorous testing and verification processes on a regular basis. GREENGUARD certification is broadly recognized and accepted by a number of "green" building programs, including the United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED® program. An online guide of GREENGUARD-certified products is available at no charge at www.greenguard.org.