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BIFMA – a leading North American Furniture Alliance
Established in 1973, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) International is a non-profit trade association of furniture manufacturers and suppliers promoting sustainable work environments and business practices. With 260 corporate members and 80% market share in North America, BIFMA develops various voluntary standards for manufacturers of office furnishings. These standards are intended to provide a common basis for the evaluation of safety, durability and the structural adequacy of the specified furniture.

VOC Emission Test Guidelines for Furniture
Considering the growing awareness and hazardous effects of indoor air pollutants, BIFMA has developed a standard test method (BIFMA M7.1-2006) to determine a long-term (14 days) volatile organic compounds (VOC including aldehydes) emission from office furniture and seating. The standard test method is capable of identifying VOC emitted and determining the emission rates for individual compounds and total VOC that may be selected for the purpose of product certification, rating, or determination of product, component, or material emission characteristics. In addition, it describes specific procedures for specimen collection and preparation, pre-conditioning, environmental chamber testing, air sampling and analysis, data interpretation, estimation of the impact of the emissions on the VOC concentrations in a defined typical office environment, and contents to be included in the laboratory report.

Certification Programs
Although the standard test method does not specify or recommend any limits of emission rates or concentrations in office environments, the data obtained by this test method can be used to determine if the furniture or seating tested meet the acceptance criteria for VOC emissions established elsewhere.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification by US Green Building Council
Total VOC Total Aldehydes Formaldehyde 4-Phenylcyclohexane Recommended VOC Emissions from Building Materials by European Collaborative Action
Aromatic Hydrocarbons
1. Toluene
2. Ethylbenzene
3. Xylenes (m-, p-isomers)Cycloalkanes
10. Cylohexane
11. alpha-Pinene
12. LimoneneAldehydes
16. Formaldehyde
17. Butanal
18. Pentanal
19. Nonanal
20. Benzaldehyde
    Aliphatic Hydrocarbons
4. Hexane
5. Decane
6. Undecane
7. Dodecane
8. Tetradecane
9. MethylpentaneAlcohols
13. 1-Butanol
14. 2-Ethyl-1-hexanol
Glycols/Glycol Ethers
15. 2-ButoxyethanolKetones
21. Cyclohexanone
22. 1,1,1-Trichloroethane SGS is one of the accredited test labs for BIFMA standards. Our laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, expertise and can provide comprehensive VOC testing services according to BIFMA M7.1-2006. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
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SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.