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BIFMA Begins ANSI Public Review Process for Furniture Emission Test Standards

Furniture World News


The BIFMA Furniture Emissions Standard (FES) Subcommittee recently completed drafting a Standard and Test Method for measuring emissions from office furniture. The documents are now undergoing a public comment period as an integral part of the approval process developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Interested and affected stakeholders are invited and encouraged to participate in the review of both documents. BIFMA's objectives in initiating this emissions test standard development project were to: - develop a single, harmonized, strong measurement protocol; - use a transparent, open, consensus-based process; - foster an environment where emissions testing options are more accessible; - provide an acceptable alternative within the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED-CI Credit 4.5 for low-emitting product. Dr. Jensen Zhang of Syracuse University, a leading scientist in the field of emissions chamber testing, assisted the FES Subcommittee in their development work. Dr. Zhang utilized a peer review process to enlist other experts in the field of indoor air quality and emissions testing to gather broad input and opinion regarding the draft documents. The development work included a detailed analysis of over 5,000 workstations from office buildings throughout North America in order to determine representative "worst-case" building situations. BIFMA is providing an opportunity for broad distribution and public review of these documents. Anyone wishing to participate in the canvass process should contact Dick Driscoll or Roxanne DeBoer at BIFMA International, 2680 Horizon Drive SE, Suite A-1, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 or by calling the office at 616-285-3963. Both documents are available on the BIFMA website for download and review at this link: http://bifma.org/standards/index.html. The first is entitled "BSR/BIFMA M7.1-2005: Standard Test Method for Determining VOC Emissions from Office Furniture Systems, Components, and Seating". The second document is "BSR/BIFMA X7.1-2005: Standard for Formaldehyde and TVOC Emissions of Low-emitting Office Furniture Systems and Seating". Established in 1973, BIFMA International is a not-for-profit trade association of furniture manufacturers and suppliers addressing issues of common concern. BIFMA has been an ANSI-accredited standards developer for over twenty years and currently maintains eight active American National Standards. BIFMA is also the U.S. delegate to the ISO Technical Committee TC-136 for Furniture.