BIFMA M7.1 Testing for VOC Emissions from Office Furniture and Seating

Overview

UL offers VOC emissions testing for furniture according to the BIFMA M7.1 test method. Test data can also be used to comply with BIFMA X7.1 and BIFMA e3. The ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 test method and BIFMA X7.1 standard define test procedures and set maximum emission levels for office furniture products. Additional voluntary requirements on furniture emissions are included in the BIFMA e3 standard for sustainable furniture (credit 7.6.1, 7.6.2, and 7.6.3).

Definition

BIFMA M7.1 requires testing of VOC and aldehyde emissions after three and after seven days in a test chamber. Testing can be conducted on representative component materials, component assemblies, or on fully assembled products. Data from the testing is used to determine compliance with room concentration or emission factor criteria in BIFMA X7.1.

Benefits

A trusted resource for product emissions testing, UL has evaluated over 70,000 products and cataloged more than 10,000 chemicals from product emissions.

Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to measure chemicals from a wide range of products with the utmost precision. Our familiarity with both national and international emissions testing standards, green building codes, and rating systems enables UL to partner with manufacturers to conduct product emissions testing in ways that maximize efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Furniture manufacturers and their suppliers can begin testing with the BIFMA M7.1 method as a great first step toward creating lower emission and more environmentally-friendly products.

By testing to the BIFMA M7.1 test method, manufacturers also can:

  • Demonstrate compliance with industry requirements
  • Use results as baseline testing for regulatory risk assessments for user exposure
  • Take the first step toward compliance with purchasing criteria and product certification programs including UL GREENGUARD Certification

Emissions data can be used to earn up to three optional credits in the BIFMA level furniture sustainability scheme (credits 7.6.1, 7.6.2, and 7.6.3).

  • Credit 7.6.1 – Emissions criteria are identical to BIFMA X7.1 standard (50 ppb formaldehyde and 500 µg/m3 Total VOC).
  • Credit 7.6.2 – Emissions criteria include target list of 30 additional compounds with Chronic Reference Exposure Levels including lower formaldehyde limit of 13.5 ppb. This credit language forms the basis of the LEED v4 Low Emitting Materials requirements for furniture products.
  • Credit 7.6.3 – Emissions criteria include the most stringent formaldehyde limit of 7.3 ppb.

DELIVERABLES


APPLICABLE STANDARDS

  • ANSI/BIFMA M7.1-2011 — Standard Test Method for Determining VOC Emissions From Office Furniture Systems, Components and Seating
  • ANSI/BIFMA X7.1-2011 — Standard for Formaldehyde and TVOC Emissions of Low-emitting Office Furniture Systems and Seating
  • ANSI/BIFMA e3-2012 — Furniture Sustainability Standard that is the basis for the BIFMA level™ certification program

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