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BIFMA M7.1 Testing for VOC Emissions from Office Furniture and Seating

Our volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions tests can help confirm that your office furniture and seating meets the requirements for VOC and aldehyde emissions—a critical requirement of the BIFMAS X7.1 standard.

UL tests a red office chair for VOC emissions.

Overview

BIFMA M7.1 requires testing of VOC and aldehyde emissions after three days and seven days in a test chamber. Testing can be conducted on representative component materials, component assemblies or on fully assembled products. Data from the testing is used to determine compliance with room concentration or emission factor criteria in the BIFMA X7.1 standard.

UL offers VOC emissions testing for furniture according to the BIFMA M7.1 test method. Test data can also be used to comply with BIFMA X7.1 and BIFMA e3. The ANSI/BIFMA M7.1 test method and BIFMA X7.1 standard define test procedures and set maximum emission levels for office furniture products. Additional voluntary requirements on furniture emissions are included in the BIFMA e3 standard for sustainable furniture (credit 7.6.1, 7.6.2, and 7.6.3).

Benefits

Testing to the BIFMA M7.1 standard is the first step toward creating lower-emission and more environmentally friendly products. Our state-of-the-art technology allows us to measure chemicals from a wide range of products with the utmost precision.

By testing to the BIFMA M7.1 test method, manufacturers can:

  • Demonstrate compliance with industry requirements
  • Use results as baseline testing for regulatory risk assessments for user exposure
  • Take the first step toward compliance with purchasing criteria and product certification programs, including UL GREENGUARD Certification.

Emissions data from our testing can be used to help you earn up to three optional credits in the BIFMA level furniture sustainability scheme (credits 7.6.1, 7.6.2, and 7.6.3).

  • Credit 7.6.1 – Emissions criteria are identical to BIFMA X7.1 standard (50 ppb formaldehyde and 500 μg/m3 Total VOC).
  • Credit 7.6.2 – Emissions criteria include target list of 30 additional compounds with Chronic Reference Exposure Levels including lower formaldehyde limit of 13.5 ppb. This credit language forms the basis of the LEED v4 Low Emitting Materials requirements for furniture products.
  • Credit 7.6.3 – Emissions criteria include the most stringent formaldehyde limit of 7.3 ppb.

Why UL

At UL, we are committed to helping you navigate the complex world of product emissions testing. Having evaluated more than 70,000 products and cataloged more than 10,000 chemicals from product emissions, we are a trusted leader in the science of safety. Our VOC emissions tests can help confirm that your products comply with the emission factor criteria in BIFMA X7.1, and our familiarity with national and international emissions testing standards, green building codes and rating systems can help you maximize efficiency and reduce costs.

Related standards

  • ANSI/BIFMA M7.1-2011 Standard Test Method for Determining VOC Emissions From Office Furniture Systems, Components and Seating
  • ANSI/BIFMA X7.1-2011 Standard for Formaldehyde and TVOC Emissions of Low-emitting Office Furniture Systems and Seating
  • ANSI/BIFMA e3-2012 Furniture Sustainability Standard that is the basis for the BIFMA level™ certification program
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