Did you know that common building and furnishing products can emit chemicals? The GreenGuard Certification program by UL Solutions aims to reduce the chemical hazards in these products. The program provides third-party certification to assure products meet stringent chemical emission standards.1 It also requires a review of the manufacturing process for a holistic product health assessment.


Third-party certification

Third-party certification occurs when an external organization evaluates a product. This is important because it standardizes and legitimizes the testing methods.


Where did this standard come from?

The GreenGuard program originated when the EPA and Washington State used emission limits (formally known as UL2818 GreenGuard) in their specifications for commercial building products and furniture.


GreenGuard expanded to create GreenGuard Gold, initially for schools and healthcare facilities, which includes additional health-based criteria and chemical restrictions (like VOCs).


What does it apply to?

The GreenGuard program focuses on product groups like building materials, furniture, furnishings, wall finishes, floorings, paints, adhesives/sealants, and more.8 The EPA’s recommendations of standards7 identify GreenGuard Gold as a standard for carpet, fiberboard, gypsum panels, and tile.


Limiting VOCs

UL Solutions reports that hundreds of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) can be found in indoor spaces at a time.1 They irritate the eyes, throat, and nose. Long-term exposure can result in cancer or chronic disease. The GreenGuard Gold certification standard limits over 360 VOCs and chemical emissions. Check out an overview here.2


✓ Consider GreenGuard Gold for the following common building products:


    • Gypsum Drywall – While drywall in the U.S maintains minimum safety standards, drywall imported from other countries has been linked to indoor air quality issues.10
    • Silicone sealants – Installation products, like silicone sealants, can work as endocrine disruptors. The solvent and titanium dioxide in silicone sealants are also linked to cancer.13
    • Butyl caulks – Caulk may contain silica and titanium solvent as colorants, which pose a risk of cancer and gene damage.

✓ Use UL Solutions SPOT database to view certified products.

✓ Refer to Building Clean’s Certified Products database  for sealants.

✓ Choose drywall made in the U.S from 2016 or later to ensure that it meets the minimum in U.S regulations for low sulfur emissions.12