Office of General Services

New York State Office of General Services

Approved EO4 Specifications

Carpet and Carpet Tile

Covered Products

Carpeting sheet goods and tile goods for new installations and for patching or replacements of existing carpet installations. Backing and adhesives related to carpet installations are also covered.

Goal

To set minimum environmental goals for carpet installations in State properties and to provide recommendations for additional aspects of carpet performance and cleaning and maintenance for a healthier indoor environment.

Background

Carpet is a significant source of landfill waste due to the frequency of replacement. It also can be a source of chemicals adversely affecting indoor air quality, and carpets and other “soft” surfacing can capture pollutants, adversely affecting air quality over time.

With proper specification, emissions or negative off gassing associated with new carpeting as well as installation waste can be reduced. In addition, technologies for recycling carpeting back into new carpets, or for use making new products are being increasingly commercialized and available.

Definitions

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) – Human-made or naturally occurring organic chemical compounds that are used and produced in the manufacture of paints, adhesives, some building materials, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, and refrigerants. Reduction of the introduction of VOCs in interior environments is a part of maintaining good indoor air quality.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) – A chemical component that is still found in carpet backing. Vinyl chloride, which is classified as a human carcinogen, and ethylene dichloride, also known as 1,2-dichloroethane, which has been described by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, are the basic building blocks of PVC. Chemicals commonly added to PVC include phthalates, which are developmental and reproductive toxins for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Chemical Action Plan under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The combustion of waste streams containing PVC under both controlled and uncontrolled conditions is a significant source of dioxins and furans (which have been identified as priority chemicals for elimination or reduction by EPA’s National Waste Minimization Program), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (designated as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen by the NTP).

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Standard Setting and Certifying Programs

NSF - National Sanitation Foundation, is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that provides standards development, product certification, auditing, education and risk management for public health and safety.

CRI – Carpet and Rug Institute, is a not-for-profit trade association representing the manufacturers of more than 95 % of all carpet made in the United States, as well as their suppliers and service providers. http://www.carpet-rug.org/

Green Label Plus - is a labeling system developed by CRI that identifies carpets with very low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) represented as micrograms per square meter per hour. http://www.carpet-rug.org/green-building-and-the-environment.html

NSF/ANSI 140 Sustainability Assessment for Carpet – is a sustainable carpet assessment standard which establishes performance requirements for public health and the environment. Information regarding the Assessment can be found at www.green.ca.gov. A comprehensive searchable database of all carpet products certified to meet the NSF/ANSI 140-2007 standard can be found at http://www.carpet-rug.org/green-building-and-the-environment.html, and can be sorted to show all products certified at the Platinum level by all certifiers.

South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) - the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the smoggiest region of the U.S. Standards set by this pollution control agency are cited in LEED rating systems as well as regulation related to air quality in buildings. Information regarding SCAQMD can be found at http://www.aqmd.gov/.

Specifications

Affected entities shall procure carpet products that meet the following specifications, except in cases where a match of style and lot number (for color) are needed:

Toxics in Packaging:

In accordance with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205, packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury or hexavalent chromium exceed the following concentration level: 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%).

Contracting:

When and if the Office of General Services issues a new statewide contract for carpet and carpet tile, it shall issue a contract or an alternate contract for carpet and carpet tile that contains no PVC and ensures that commodities purchased pursuant to the contract are reused and recycled to the maximum extent practicable through take-back agreements with manufacturers or contractors or similar mechanisms.