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Green Label Testing Program - Carpet Selection Criteria from the Carpet and Rug Institute

By HHI Staff

To identify carpet products that are low-VOC, the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) has established a labeling program. The CRI Indoor Air Quality Carpet Testing Program's green and white logo displayed on carpet samples in showrooms informs the consumer that the product type has been tested by an independent laboratory and has met the criteria for low emissions.


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The carpet sample is tested for chemical emissions by Air Quality Sciences, an Atlanta-based, independent laboratory using dynamic environmental chamber technology. The test methodology was developed by consensus during an official dialogue with the EPA and has been adopted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) as D 5116 – Guide for Small-Scale Environmental Chamber Determinations of Organic Emissions from Indoor Materials/Products.


Since the inception of the program in 1992, the carpet industry has made substantial reductions in the levels of TVOCs (total VOCs), as well as reductions in 4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PC), the compound most associated with "new carpet odor."


The carpet manufacturer is allowed to use the CRI/IAQ Carpet Testing Program label for that specific product type if the test result does not exceed the stated emission criteria. The product type number on the label identifies the manufacturer of the carpet and tells the buyer that the manufacturer has produced a product that meets CRI's criteria for low emissions. Products are re-tested quarterly to monitor continued compliance with the test program requirements.


The current criteria for the program are based on a maximum emission factor measured in mg/m² per hr. as follows:

  • Total Volatile Organic Compounds 0.5 
  • 4-PC (4-Phenylcyclohexene) 0.05
  • Formaldehyde 0.05
  • Styrene 0.4 

Source: Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)


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Green Label Testing Program - Carpet Selection Criteria from the Carpet and Rug Institute:  Created on April 17th, 2007.  Last Modified on January 11th, 2010


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