Tag Archives: asthma

Global GreenTag International Launches new Asthma & Allergy Sensitive™ Certification

A new, robust product transparency assessment for people with asthma & allergy sensitivities launches under the Global GreenTag International Product Health Declaration (GreenTag PHD™) service.

Many motivating factors, generated by indoor health impact studies, demand from manufacturers a more robust product assessment for people who suffer with asthma and allergies. Global GreenTag International has answered this call with the introduction of a new Asthma and Allergy Sensitive™ assessment under its Global GreenTag Product Health Declaration (GreenTag PHD™) and ‘In use healthiness’ toxicity assessment rating scheme – HealthRATE™.

Increasing numbers of indoor studies highlight the need to provide more thorough, product assessments that drill down beyond the ingredients’ toxicity, before products are produced to determine whether the final manufactured products are also safe for people with asthma and allergy sensitivities. This is according to David Baggs, Program Director for Global GreenTag’s product certification programs who said:

 “There is a much greater need to provide consumers, and particularly professionals who are engaged in architecture, interior design and construction reporting and ranking with information that, not only reveals the toxicity of individual ingredients in products, but also with information if any of the ingredients are recognised as asthma or allergy triggers, by one of the world’s foremost professional associations that represent clinicians engaged in studying and treating environmental illness.

“Asthma and allergies cannot be simply lumped together, as they can be triggered by both natural and synthetic compounds, as well as organisms and elements in the indoor environment,” said David who also serves as CEO of Global GreenTag International (GGTI) and is a co-founder of GGTI and the Global GreenTag Product Certification Standard with Mary-Lou Kelly, GGTI’s Managing Director.

David added:

“While many aspects like dust, dust mites and pollen are typically beyond the study of products, we wanted to improve upon this area of product certification and provide a more robust and clearly defined assessment that demonstrates how a product stands up, health-wise, from the point of view of toxicity as well as asthma and allergies.

“Surfaces that contain compounds that trigger contact dermatitis or Volatile or Semi Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs & SVOCs) or products that generate fine particulates as they age and are released from products, can trigger people with lung or skin allergies.” 

In the case of products contributing to the exacerbation of asthma and allergy outbreaks, indoor environment studies implicate that categories, including bedding, carpets, flooring, furniture, fabrics, paints, personal care and cleaning products, can all be part of the problem: 

  • A 2019 study of indoor chemical pollution in the dwellings and workplaces of 109 French farmers linked respiratory health issues, including asthma from exposure to particulate matter and Volatile Organic Compounds … asthma (9.3%) was positively associated with elevated exposure to the chemicals of benzene, trichloroethylene and halogenated hydrocarbons.
  • A 2016 study published by the American Chemical Society (ACS) found a concerning combination of chemicals present and leaching or gassing off from products that people take in daily through their skin and airways, noting that indoor dust is a reservoir for commercial consumer product chemicals, including many compounds with known or suspected health effects.
  • A 2015 published indoor study of a childcare centre in Seoul in South Korea conducted continuous monitoring of indoor pollutant levels 24 hours a day for 12 months. The study revealed that incidences of the allergy Atopic Dermatitis increased amongst 30 pupils with the condition. Outbreaks were linked to VOCs and Particulate Matter and this was reaffirmed when the outbreaks continued as the centre re-located to a newer and better-ventilated building. 

Global GreenTag Asthma & Allergy Sensitive™ certification is undertaken in combination with the Global GreenTag Product Health Declaration (PHD™) and HealthRATE™ “Healthiness in Use’ rating scheme. The process involves:

  • Undergoing a separate assessment of products under the Asthma & Allergy Sensitive and HealthRATE processes, where manufacturers must provide 100 percent transparency of product information down to 100ppm of individual ingredients.
  • Applying analysis of product information, which deepens identification of products, as safe to be used, in environments, for people with asthma and allergy sensitivities.
  • Comparing against data, provided by the international list of compounds, identified by the US Association for Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), which specialise in the prevention and treatment of occupational and environmental illnesses, including identifying the internal and external triggers of asthma and allergies that can lead to respiratory and skin issues. This is to ensure that products awarded the Asthma and Allergy Sensitive™ claim do not contain compounds proven to cause reactions in even a single person above the declaration threshold of 100ppm.
  • Providing manufacturers with a detailed product transparency report they can use to support tenders on projects; notably to submit to projects registered for building certifications under programs that formally recognise Global GreenTag’s PHD. These include WELL under the International WELL™ Building Institute, and LEED® under the US Green Building Council, and soon others.

Once products, which have undergone these processes and have been assessed as eligible, they can be awarded HealthRATE rankings and, additionally with an Asthma & Allergy Sensitive™ Mark, so that manufacturers can rank their products in the marketplace and promote them with either a BronzeHEALTH, SilverHEALTH, GoldHEALTH or PlatinumHEALTH rating together with the Asthma and Allergy Sensitive™ claim. These Marks enable consumers and professionals to understand not only the healthiness of products from a toxicity point of view but also the asthma and allergy sensitivity value of a product, at a glance.

For more information and comment about the HealthRATE and Asthma & Allergy Sensitive claim system, please contact Global GreenTag International:

David Baggs (CEO & Program Director)

Email: david.baggs@globalgreentag.com

Phone: 1300 669 997  (Australia free call) or   +61 7 3399 9686

More about David Baggs – BIO LINK

Download the Global GreenTag International Asthma & Allergy Sensitive™ brochure

More about Global GreenTag International

Global GreenTag currently has more than 16,000 products under certification in over 22 countries, used in buildings and offices throughout Australia and the world.

Voted one of the Top 100 Most Trusted Brands in Australia over 4 years running, Global GreenTag International simplifies the selection of environmentally sustainable, healthy and ethical products for industries like Architecture, Design and Construction, Personal Care, and Cleaning,  using Global GreenTag CertTM  one of the most scientifically advanced, product certification and declaration systems in the world. 

Global GreenTag CertTM assesses and then ranks products through leading LCA based product ecolabelling and rating schemes. It also provides third party, assessed product declaration programs, including an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), a Product Health Declaration (PHD) and a Modern Slavery Declaration (MSD) program, the first product level declaration of its kind in the world, designed to help manufacturers and procurement teams eliminate incidences of modern slavery in global supply chains.

Helping professionals to make informed decisions about preferred green and ethical products to protect both the health of environment, workers and consumers, Global GreenTag launched its Certification Mark in 2010. Registered in Australia, the United States and Canada as a third-party certification body, Global GreenTag is the only “one-stop” operator related to the world’s four major green building rating tools (LEED/WELL/GreenStar/BREEAM). 

At the same time, it is also one of the certification bodies with the most ISO international standards compliance in the world. Globally, Global GreenTag certification is the first certification mark approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the United States Patent and Trademark Office and recognised or compliant with all the major global Green Building Rating Tools.

GreenTag’s New PhD Health Tool Is Radical And Necessary But Also Expected To Accelerate Market Transformation

Studies that make connections between toxic products and human health issues speak for themselves, says David Baggs, CEO and Technical Director of Global GreenTag, at the launch of the ecolabel’s new Product Health Declaration™ or PhD tool in Sydney at Total Facilities 2017.  Ethically, GreenTag did not want to sit on worrying statistics much longer without doing something about it.

“GreenTag’s PhD is a radical entry into the market but it is also very necessary because it addresses human health concerns directly – we have the first system globally to assess the health impacts of the final product – and not just the hazards of the ingredients.”

Tracking product toxicity is important, says David.  Australian businesses lose up to $28 billion annually in lost production and wages due to employee ill health, yet what is largely unknown by Australian business owners, is that toxic ingredients hidden in products used in workplace buildings are a significant culprit of workplace sickness.

GreenTag’s PhD, he said, is finally going to push for transparency to disclose risks and hazards in products used in workplaces and, in Australian homes too.

Industry observers at the PhD launch (including Kerryn Wilmot, Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS, Robin Mellon, CEO of Supply Chain Sustainability School, Reza Karani, Technical Marketing & Sustainability Manager at Tarkett Australia and Dr Max Deuble, Senior ESD Consultant at EMF Griffiths) welcomed the new tool and some called the tool a game changer, particularly for the built environment industry.

The first PhD certificate, said David, has already been issued.  Building manufacturer Weathertex were the first to make the leap and other manufacturers like Amorim Wicanders flooring have signed on as well, to have their product claims made transparent and examined further.

Also welcoming the PhD for its potential to help transform the Australian building market, Jorge Chapa, Head of Market Transformation at the Green Building Council of Australia stated:

“When most people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, there is a huge potential for our buildings – and the products within them – to positively influence the health and wellbeing of occupants. We support innovative approaches, like the PhD Product Heath Declaration, that can accelerate market transformation.”

GreenTag’s PhD was motivated by a number of studies, said David, that have concluded the need for firmer risk mitigation strategies to be brought into the supply chain to help prevent toxic products being used in workplaces and homes. He said:

“We already know from studies that product toxicity found in buildings is a very real cause behind a range of human health problems – even to unborn babies – including cancer, hormone disruption, asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue and many other toxicity related illnesses.”

“Even an ‘indoor environment’ study, published last year by the American Chemical Society, found a concerning combination of chemicals  present and leaching or gassing off from products that people take in daily through their skin and airways in a range of typical indoor scenarios,” said David.

Yet, he added, it has also been proven in a variety of other studies, including a workplace study by Sustainability Victoria who retrofitted their own offices with a range of strategies, including low toxicity products, that employees became healthier as a result.

“Sick leave was reduced by 30% and productivity went up an extraordinary 45%.”

In order to achieve a PhD HEALTH certification rating, GreenTag will require manufacturers to provide 100 percent transparency – to 100 parts per million – of any product’s individual ingredients’ toxicity information. The tool, adds David, will:

  • Support product manufacturers “doing the right thing” who are prepared to disclose toxicity information.
  • Reduce risks for building professionals to confidently make distinctions between products that are safer for human health and those that are not and, make it easier to communicate health related product decisions to clients/and building occupiers.
  • Also, respect the rise up of conscious consumers, who studies show want healthier choices and greater access to more authentic product information, which they can trust because “Absolute transparency brings total peace of mind”.

For the green building movement, GreenTag’s PhD will be working hand in hand with building rating schemes like the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star tools; as well as supporting designers attempting to rate projects through other rating tools with a health focus.

170403 PhD_Launch_Group_Shot 1 600xPhD Launch in Sydney (pictured from left to right)  Brett Hazlett, Product Sales Assessor, Global GreenTag;  Mary-Lou Kelly, Director & Co-Founder, Global GreenTag;  Reza Karani, Technical Marketing & Sustainability Manager, Tarkett Australia;  David Baggs, CEO & Technical Director, Global GreenTag.

For more information or to talk further with David Baggs, please contact Debra Robertson, marketing@globalgreentag.com or by phone:  1300 263 586

GreenTag Goes to War on Hidden Toxins in Australian Homes

Young businesswoman working in the office

Inside the Australian home can be a health hazard with a range of unsuspecting products hiding toxic ingredients that are risky for families (even unborn babies) to live with, but a radical new certification tool for delving into product toxicity, designed by Global GreenTag International, is set to finally expose and disclose these hazards to help consumers make healthier buying decisions.

Called a Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ the new certification tool will be the first of its kind in the world. The tool was launched today in Sydney at Total Facilities 2017 by David Baggs, CEO and Technical Director of GreenTag who told a packed industry audience:

“A product health declaration of this level is a radical entry into the market but it is very necessary. We have known for a long time from studies that negative human health issues are connected to product toxicity, causing skin irritations, allergies, reproductive and endocrine defects, cancer and other illnesses.  Unfortunately, there are personal care,  cleaning and even building and interiors products still being sold that hide toxins and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, BPA and banned Phthalates in composite wood panels, packaging or fabrics, or solvents from wood lacquers, which have a disproportionately high impact on small children and can even have significant affects on babies while they are still in the womb.”

The PhD health tool will demand of manufacturers a 100 percent transparency to 100 parts per million of any product’s individual ingredients’ toxicity information to make a PhD HEALTH certification rating.  The good news is, GreenTag announced, a number of progressive manufacturers in Australia and Europe have already signed up.

For professional users, the GreenTag PhD tool will also work hand in hand with building rating platforms, including Green Star®, WELL®, LEED® and BREEAM® and industry delegates welcomed the tool as a positive boost for building professionals who need critical and transparent specification information to reduce risks in designing for healthy interiors, and workplace efficiency.

Jorge Chapa, Head of Market Transformation at the Green Building Council of Australia said:

“When most people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, there is a huge potential for our buildings – and the products within them – to positively influence the health and wellbeing of occupants. We support innovative approaches, like the PhD Product Health Declaration, that can accelerate market transformation.”

 

Global GreenTag’s job is to assess the toxicity of products against the classification and labelling of chemicals under the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) originally developed by the United Nations.  Three categories of hazards are assessed and organised as to how they can affect human health and also environmental health.

Behind the development of GreenTag’s latest certification process – the Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ – are a number of third party studies that link product health with human health.  The most recent evidence which addresses product toxicity and impacts on human health were highlighted in a study from the US, released in 2016, in which dust studies were conducted for their window into chemicals present in a range of typical indoor scenarios, particularly residential.

The study published by the American Chemical Society (ACS) found a concerning combination of chemicals present and leaching or gassing off from products that people take in daily through their skin and airways.

The study found:

  • Nine general hazard traits associated with 35 chemicals that were both included in the intake assessment and were listed under the Safer Consumer Products Candidate Chemical Listings.

The study identified:

  • Exposure to one or more of these chemical classes has been associated with adverse health effects including reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, cognitive and behavioral impairment in children, cancer, asthma, immune dysfunction, and chronic disease.

The study called for:

  • A full understanding of these household level drivers of high exposure is critical to the development of mitigation strategies including regulatory interventions.

GreenTag’s product assessment procedures for Australia, which now includes the Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ are aligned to the new GHS system, from January 1st, 2017, which  also applies to all workplace hazardous chemicals in NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, TAS, NT and Commonwealth systems under the GHS and the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations and their Hazardous Substances Information System.

Within this scope, GreenTag’s assessment procedures address risk of hazards pertaining to human health, such as carcinogenicity, also risks to the  environment, such as toxic  release  to waterways and of course physical hazards – a pertinent category, especially in light of the urgent need in recent years in the Australian building industry that has seen a number of fire outbreaks, due in part to flammability in the  chemical components in sub-par and uncertified materials.

For more information or to speak further with David Baggs,  please contact Debra Robertson, marketing@globalgreentag.com or Phone 1300 263 586 | +61 7 3399 9686