Today, products come with many certifications. One popular certification, especially for children’s furniture and toys, is the Greenguard Certification. However, what does it mean if a product is Greenguard Gold certified? How does it help ensure that the products you purchase are safe?
As a parent, you want to ensure that any toys or furniture you bring into your home is safe for your child. After all, your little one might even put the toy in their mouth or suck on the furniture!
Many products, including our wooden toys and furniture, undergo rigorous testing to ensure the safety of children. However, certifications can provide an extra level of confidence for consumers. Through third-party testing, certifications prove that products meet strict safety standards.
What Is a Greenguard Certification?
The Greenguard Certification is a certification that ensures products have minimal or zero volatile organic compounds or VOCs. UL Solutions provides the certification. UL Solutions is a company that specializes in indoor air quality and testing products for VOCs.
Several Greenguard Certifications exist including the simple Greenguard Certification and the Greenguard Gold Certification. The UL Greenguard certification program tests products in a special, stainless-steel environmental chamber. Products like furniture may have to stay in the chamber for several weeks! Their chemical emissions limits are strict.
While in the chamber, experts check the air for hundreds of different VOCs. Only products that meet strict standards for low emissions receive Greenguard Certifications.
What are VOCs and Why Does the Greenguard Certification Test for Them?
According to the American Lung Association, VOCs are carbon based chemicals. They are gases that leak into the air from some products or processes. For example, when you use spray paint, some of the strong chemical smell you notice are VOCs.
However, not all VOCs have strong odors. We bring them into our homes with flooring, furniture, adhesives, paints, permanent markers, and more! Many of them slowly off-gas over time, contaminating your indoor environment.
Unfortunately, exposure to some VOCs can harm your health and even cause cancer. Many factors come into play. A few are VOC concentrations, exposure time, types of VOCs, and more. Ultimately, it's best to minimize VOCs in your indoor spaces.
Greenguard Gold Certified Vs. Greenguard Certified
Both the Greenguard Gold Certification and the standard Greenguard Certification require rigorous testing. The standards aim to help companies meet indoor air quality standards for places like schools and healthcare facilities.
However, choosing the Greenguard Gold Certification is superior for products used by children or babies. This certification tests for over 360 VOCs. Plus, products that achieve the Greenguard Gold Certification also comply requirements of the state of California Department of Public Health or California Section 01350.
Does it Matter if Products are Greenguard Gold Certified?
Ultimately, your indoor air quality is what’s at stake. All parents want to create a safe space for their children. We spend a lot of time indoors, especially on rainy days or when the weather makes it too hot or cold to stay outside.
If your home's air includes VOCs, your child is also breathing them in. Reducing total VOC emissions in your home means better indoor air quality (IAQ).
By choosing products that are Greenguard Certified, you can protect your IAQ. This is especially important when considering environments like your baby’s nursery, your child’s room, or your playroom. Selecting Greenguard Gold Certified products can help ensure your child’s air quality is as pure as possible.
Plus, choosing VOC emitting products is an environmentally conscious choice. Brands that lower or even eliminate VOCs can help achieve environmental goals. Often, products that are Greenguard Certified use materials that are safer and cause less harm to the planet.
3 Tips for Choosing Safe Products for Your Child
You may wonder how you can determine which products are safest. Here are a few tips to help you:
1. Look for Specifics
Some companies provide vague information about what materials they use. This is a warning sign! Products you can trust proudly state the materials used to make them.
For example, Piccalio products are Greenguard Gold Certified! We use 0-VOC water-based, acrylic, solvent-free, and non-toxic paints and stains. We also meet the requirements of the state of California.
When researching toys to purchase, avoid plastics, cheap plastics in particular. Research shows that when babies put these toys in their mouths, they can ingest toxic chemicals. Keep your child safe by selecting wooden toys, or BPA plastic-free toys.
2. Certifications Are a Plus
A certification shows that the product can pass third-party testing standards. Certifications like the Greenguard Certification show that products have minimal chemicals. Purchasing Greenguard Certified products can give you peace of mind that you’re protecting your indoor air quality.
We proudly hold a Greenguard Gold Certification for our products!
3. Consider Manufacturing Styles
For wooden toys and furniture, it’s important to look for careful manufacturing. Chipped or uneven pieces can give your little one a painful splinter or worse. So, opt for hand-crafted items or products that have excellent quality control.
The Bottom Line on the Greenguard Gold Certification
To prioritize safety and indoor air quality, search for UL Greenguard Certified products. As consumers, it’s easy to fall in love with pretty images of beautiful products. Yet, as responsible parents, we must do our best to avoid bringing harmful chemicals into the home. Our job is to minimize chemicals that have negative impacts on the family’s health.
Fortunately, certifications like Greenguard can help ensure that you’re choosing a product that is safe and environmentally friendly. That's the assurance you get when you buy our products. Piccalio's products are Greenguard Gold Certified. We promise to always offer furniture and toys that are not only educational and fun but also safe for your home.