By using highly sensitive laboratory analysis techniques, such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, and by following standardised test procedures, even the smallest traces of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the air can be identified and quantified. Samples of the materials are placed in test chambers made of stainless steel with a volume of between 100 and 1000 litres in which a typical indoor climate is simulated. The test chamber is ventilated continuously with clean air at a flow rate such that the air in the chamber is completely replaced every 2 hours. The test temperature is 23 °C and the relative humidity of the air inflow to the chamber is 50 %. Measurementes are taken after 3 days and 28 days by sampling and analysing the exhaust air from the test chamber. The test can be terminated when all classification values (28-day limit values) are complied with, however no earlier than after 10 days. The test measurements are performed to detect and record concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC), carcinogenic and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC).

The test method is reviewed and adjusted as necessary to reflect the state of the art at any time. It is used for initial testing when a license application is received and as an evaluation basis for each subsequent quality monitoring check. Only laboratories accredited in accordance with ISO 17025 may be commissioned to perform the tests.


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