Greenguard Certification - What Does it Mean and Why is it Important?
So you’ve just found out your family is getting a little bit bigger. Congratulations! As you’re doing research on furniture for your nursery, you might come across mentions of products being “Greenguard certified” or “Greenguard GOLD certified”. But what does that mean, and more importantly, why should you care?
In short, Greenguard certification means that a given product, usually bed frames, cribs, mattresses, etc. gives off low or no chemical emissions.
Did you read that last line and say “Wait, chemical emissions?” Keep reading.
There will always be chemicals in the air. “Air” as we think of it is just a gaseous chemical soup. The materials used to manufacture cribs, beds, etc. that are NOT Greenguard certified give off large amounts of chemicals called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. VOCs in small amounts are not very dangerous, and people, possibly even you, tend to have a positive association with the smell of VOCs. They are what is responsible for that coveted “new car smell”.
While adults are not at a particularly high risk for health concerns caused by VOCs, kids, especially babies and toddlers, have smaller bodies and breathe a higher proportion of air than adults. Whatever is in the air, kids will get a lot more of it. This brings us back to Greenguard certification.
When a product has received Greenguard certification, it means it has undergone extensive testing to ensure it gives off a very low, safe amount of VOCs. Greenguard’s older sibling, Greenguard GOLD certification is most commonly awarded to items meant to be placed in educational settings or somewhere designed for children, such as a daycare or a baby’s room. Greenguard GOLD certified products give off a significantly reduced amount of VOCs, especially formaldehyde, even when compared to regular Greenguard certified products. You can read all about it on UL’s website, who are responsible for testing products and issuing the certification.
Greenguard GOLD certification is a guarantee of quality, but it is not the end all be all of ensuring safe sleep for your kids. There are other systems of certification, like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), with brands like Naturepedic and Nook representing GOTS. Your child’s safety is the absolute highest priority, and hopefully you’ve learned a little bit about the measures put in place to protect them.Any more questions? Need help finding the nursery furniture that’s right for you? Don’t hesitate to book a virtual consultation with us here, or call us at 1-866-600-BEAN (2326)!