CDPH, VOC Emissions and Their Importance in Commercial Flooring Installations

CDPH and VOC emissions testing

In 2013, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) added Volatile Organic Compounds under the Environmental Quality (EQ) credit. The category requirement offers transparency to ‘real world’ VOC emissions (formaldehyde and total VOC). See “General Emissions Evaluation” here.

Every year, flooring installation product manufacturers (including TEC) are promoting their new green messaging. They use phrases including “LEED v4 VOC Emissions,” “CA 01350.” They state their products meet “UL Greenguard Gold,” “MAS Certified Green,” or “CRI Green Label Plus” guidelines. Whatever happened to the simple VOC Content paperwork for job submittals?


Why manufacturers are promoting this and the impact on contractors/architects:

USGBC used a testing standard already in place in California at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH for short) called “Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers.” That became the standard for LEED v4 VOC Emissions testing.  



Flooring product manufacturers wanted to offer this new testing on their products so that architects would specify their “green” products and contractors would buy and install their products.


Certifications: Which is the best?

The CDPH VOC referenced labs are all valid if they refer to “CDPH Standard Method v1.1” and if they are listed on the USGBC table for EQ Credit Low Emitting Materials approved labs table. All labs are equal as they follow the same testing requirements.

If your project specification, city or state’s green code, or owner requires LEED v4 CDPH VOC Emissions testing on flooring installation products and requires certificates from a USGBC approved lab, we can help! H.B. Fuller Construction Products (TEC) has the appropriate CDPH VOC emission certificates on virtually all our tile setting and surface prep products as well as flooring adhesives. Not all flooring installation manufacturers offer CDPH VOC Emissions testing, be sure to research before you specify or submit a certain brand.



Identifying CDPH in the tiling or finishes specification

If the project specification looks like the following images, TEC has the certificates needed for this spec whether it is tile setting, concrete surface preparation or flooring adhesive products.




Most of TEC tile setting/surface prep products and TEC flooring adhesives have CDPH VOC certificates. They are located at the MAS Certified Green website or the Carpet and Rug Institute GLP website. The logos below will appear on each applicable TEC product on our website.   




TEC technical experts are here to help you. Our team of experts are up to date on certifications and are available to answer any questions!


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Posté par
Chris Burns, CSI, CDT, CCPR, LEED GA