Indoor air quality
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Indoor air quality

Indoor air quality symbol

The indoor environment has a significant impact on people's health as we spend up to 90 % of our time indoors. Here you can learn what Ecophon does to reduce the emissions to the indoor air.

 
 
The indoor air quality is an important part of how we feel when we are staying indoors. We inhale a mix of “normal air” and pollutants (compounds) from different types of pollution sources. The indoor air pollutants can be generated in different ways, such as smoking, air fresheners, cleaning products and perfume. Another source can be construction and furnishing materials.

To achieve a good indoor air quality you can generally:

  • choose low-emitting materials to reduce undesirable emissions
  • choose material with low chemical content
  • air frequently and/or have adapted ventilation
  • avoid the formation of dust and dust-gathering surfaces and materials 

To reduce the emissions to the indoor air Ecophon continuously work to develop the products. As part of this development Ecophon is testing the products according different indoor standards. Some standards are focusing on chemical emissions such as VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and formaldehyde. Others are focusing on particle release and biological growth.

Test standards for VOC and formaldehyde

The most relevant standards for testing VOC and formaldehyde from construction products in Europe are the ISO 16000 family and the EN 717-1.

ISO 16000-9:2006 specifies a general laboratory test method for determination of the area specific emission rate of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from newly produced building products or furnishing under defined climate conditions. The emission data obtained can be used to calculate concentrations in a model room. ISO 16000-9:2006 is also applicable to wood-based panels and other building products, in order to determine the emission rate of formaldehyde. This standard is used as test method for French product labeling law.

EN 717-1 is used for formaldehyde emission testing for E1 classification (targeted to determine steady-state concentration for products where the binder releases formaldehyde continuously due to hydrolysis with air humidity). Products with a CE-marking must test the products according this standard.

Test standards for particle concentration

The ISO 14644-1 specifies the classification of air cleanliness in terms of concentration of airborne particles in cleanrooms and clean zones. Only particle populations having cumulative distributions based on threshold (lower limit) particle sizes ranging from 0,1 μm to 5 μm are considered for classification purposes.

The use of light scattering (discrete) airborne particle counters (LSAPC) is the basis for determination of the concentration of airborne particles, equal to and greater than the specified sizes, at designated sampling locations.

This part of ISO 14644 does not provide for classification of particle populations that are outside the specified lower threshold particle-size range, 0,1 μm to 5 μm. Concentrations of ultrafine particles (particles smaller than 0,1 μm) will be addressed in a separate standard to specify air cleanliness by nano-scale particles.

The ISO classification and the relation to the maximum number of particles are seen in the table below (particles in each cubic meter equal to or greater than the specified size).

ISO class 

Particle size
  > 0.1 μm > 0.2 μm > 0.3 μm > 0.5 μm > 1 μm > 5 μm
ISO Class 1 10 2        
ISO Class 2 100  24  10 4    
ISO Class 3 1000  237  102  35  8  
ISO Class 4 10000  2370  1020 352  83   
ISO Class 5 100000  23700  10200  3520  832  29
ISO Class 6 1000000  237000 102000  35200  8320  293 
ISO Class 7       352000 83200  2930 
ISO Class 8       3520000 832000  29300 
ISO Class 9       35200000 8320000  293000 

 

The NFS 90-351 is a French standard for room classification, specifically developed for hospitals. Four different zones are defined, where zone 4 has the highest demands (operation theatres with high demands – heart surgery etc.) Products can be tested regarding particle emissions (according to ISO 14644-1) and how they affect the purity of the air (bacteriological test). 

The bacteriological test is performed by placing microorganisms on the surface of the product, sucking clean air through it, and then collecting and counting the microorganisms that pass through the product. To pass the criteria for zone 4 no more than 10 CFU (Colony Forming Units) are allowed to pass through the tile (class B10). B5 and B1 are lower classes useful in the electronic industry. 

Ecophon Hygiene products intended for the health care segment (Ecophon Hygiene™ Clinic, Meditec, Performance, Protec, Labotec, LabotecAir and Advance) have been tested and have passed the requirements for zone 4.

Contact us

Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB
No.1 Shale Road
N1 Business Park
Cnr. Old Johannesburg & Tlokwa RoadsKosmosdal Ext.
Samrand 0157, P.O. Box 700, Germiston 1400, South Africa
Phone: +27 (0) 12 657 2958
E-mail: ecophonsa@saint-gobain.com

Contact us

Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB
No.1 Shale Road
N1 Business Park
Cnr. Old Johannesburg & Tlokwa RoadsKosmosdal Ext.
Samrand 0157, P.O. Box 700, Germiston 1400, South Africa
Phone: +27 (0) 12 657 2958
E-mail: ecophonsa@saint-gobain.com