GREENGUARD Gold Certified: What It Means And Why It Matters
Give your baby the best night’s sleep and keep them safe at night (and all day long), with a GREENGUARD Gold certified mattress from Newton Baby. Why is such a certification important?
In this article, we discuss what GREENGUARD Gold certification means and why it matters for the health and safety of you, your little one, and your entire family.
The Science Of Chemical Emissions
Because of the way they’re made, many regular household items emit chemicals into the air around them. Normally, the level of these pollutants is very small. But, over time, it can build up in an enclosed space, such as your living room, bedroom, or baby’s nursery.
These emissions happen when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — carbon-based chemicals that convert to gas and dissipate in the air — present in certain products and materials break down at room temperature.
VOCs can be present in building materials, furniture, and even cleaning products. At any given time, there can be 50 to 100 different VOCs in our indoor environment. In fact, pollutants in indoor spaces can be five times denser than the outdoor air!
And, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans spend an average of 90% of their time indoors, where they can come in contact with these chemical emissions.
Some materials, such as fresh paint and new mattresses, emit VOCs that cause an off-gassing odor. This odor can lead to nausea or breathlessness in some people, but scientists don’t consider it harmful in small amounts.
On the whole, the health impact of VOCs depends on different factors, including:
- Concentration of VOCs
- Duration of exposure
- Individual sensitivity
There are no state or federal laws regulating VOC emissions, but many public health agencies and private programs recommend minimum exposure if possible.
That’s where GREENGUARD comes in.
What Is GREENGUARD?
The Greenguard Environment Institute (GEI or GREENGUARD for short) is an industry-independent, non-profit organization that tests for chemical emissions in products and buildings as part of the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) consumer safety certification process.
The mission of the UL GREENGUARD certification program is to reduce pollutants in the environment, improve air quality indoors, and protect individuals who use the products they test, including:
- Building materials
- Electronic equipment
- Cleaning products
- Maintenance products
- Medical devices
If you use one or more of these products regularly or have them in your home, you can benefit from GREENGUARD certification.
As part of its program, GREENGUARD offers two levels of testing and certification:
- GREENGUARD Certified
- GREENGUARD Gold Certified
If you see the GREENGUARD Certified stamp on a product, it means that scientists tested the item and its manufacturing process for over 10,000 chemicals and VOC emissions.
It means that the product meets strict standards of low emission levels that will help you maintain your indoor air quality. And it means that you won’t have to worry as much about high concentrations of VOCs that can cause exhaustion and eye, nose, and throat irritation.
There is, however, an even higher level of certification that ensures the safety of your baby and the rest of your family: the GREENGUARD Gold Certified stamp of approval.
What GREENGUARD Gold Certified Means
The GREENGUARD Gold Certified standard goes beyond the regular certification to include criteria for even more chemicals and requires lower total VOC emissions levels to ensure that products are acceptable for use in environments like schools, nurseries, and healthcare facilities.
The GREENGUARD Gold Certified program sets the most stringent guidelines for total VOC emissions so that products emit minimal gases, limit chemical exposure, and maintain healthy air quality indoors.
Why GREENGUARD Gold Certified Matters
GREENGUARD Gold Certified matters because many common chemicals used to manufacture products — and in the products themselves — are harmful to the health of babies and those with a weak immune system.
For example, the formaldehyde levels in a GREENGUARD Gold Certified product have to be within 7.3 parts per billion (ppb). That’s much lower than the 50 ppb limit in a standard GREENGUARD Certified product.
Why is it good to maintain low levels of formaldehyde?
Because very young children exposed to high levels of formaldehyde over long periods can develop serious health conditions, like asthma and even nasopharyngeal cancer.
If you have a baby, a child, or an elderly individual in the house, a GREENGUARD Gold Certified product — like the Newton Baby Crib Mattress — is the perfect choice because it minimizes chemical emissions and reduces the chances of chemical toxicity in your indoor spaces.
Minimizing Other Pollutants
While outfitting your little one’s crib or bed with a GREENGUARD Gold Certified Newton Baby mattress is the best way to keep them safe while they sleep, it’s not the only way.
In this section, we give you tips to help minimize chemical pollutants in your living space.
1) Open Windows
Whenever possible, open the windows in your house or apartment to allow old air out and new, fresh air in. Doing so helps reduce the levels of chemical pollutants given off by products in your environment.
In cold and hot climates, opening windows may not be a good idea because it lets the heat or the air-conditioned air out and affects your baby’s comfort.
But even cracking one window in another part of the house can help vent chemical emissions and replace old air with fresh air.
2) Decorate With Plants
Decorating with live, growing plants is a great way to reduce chemical pollutants in your home. Not only do they look nice and soften the feel of a room, but they also absorb, filter, and eliminate the emissions that can build up over time.
Any plant will do, but peace lilies, aloe vera, and Chinese evergreens are among the best at cleaning indoor air.
Whichever plants you choose, be sure that they’re out of reach of babies, toddlers, and older children who might want to put part of the pretty green thing in their mouth.
3) Install An Air Quality Monitor
An air quality monitor is a great addition to any living space. These simple devices plug into a regular wall outlet and monitor the level of pollutants in your environment.
The most basic will give off an alarm if certain chemicals in the air get too high. More advanced models display the actual levels of pollutants in the air (as numbers in parts per billion).
Some are even battery powered so you can take them from room to room or set them on a shelf out of your little one’s reach.
4) Use An Air Purifier
If you can’t open your windows, use an air purifier with an activated carbon filter to remove pollutants and chemical emissions.
Even if you do open your windows in the spring and fall, you can still benefit from running an air purifier during the high heat of summer and the deep cold of winter.
Keep in mind that the purifier doesn’t have to be in your baby’s room to be of benefit. You can run the purifier in the kitchen — where it’s easier to keep out of baby’s reach — and the natural airflow in your house or apartment will replace old air with new.
5) Run An Exhaust Fan
If your kitchen is equipped with an exhaust fan, turn it on while you’re cooking and cleaning.
Doing so will help dissipate the VOC emissions from cookware and cleaning supplies so they don’t build up and spread throughout your home.
Newton Baby Is Proud To Be GREENGUARD Gold Certified
In the first years of life, your baby spends a lot of time sleeping. And, chances are, the majority of that sleep will occur in a crib or other baby bed. You can give your little one the best and safest sleep possible with a Newton Baby Crib Mattress.
Our mattresses are built with Wovenaire® technology — a patented cushioning material that replaces foam, latex, and springs. It’s made of the same 100% recyclable food-grade material used in yogurt containers!
Wovenaire is 90% air by volume, which makes it incredibly light and, well, airy. It’s GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which, as we discussed, means it’s tested and certified to have the lowest chemical emissions possible.
In addition, Wovenaire is hypoallergenic and doesn’t leach toxic chemicals in the way foam and latex can. All this makes Wovenaire the perfect choice for your baby.
These standards — among the most rigorous in the world — ensure the lowest measurements of chemical emissions, such as VOCs, and certify that our products promote healthier indoor air quality.
With Newton Baby, you can rest assured your little one is sleeping safely!
For more information on helping your baby get the best night’s sleep possible and to check out our crib mattresses, sheets, pads, and swaddles, visit NewtonBaby.com today.