News Brief

Study Links Biobased Products with Emissions

A new study performed by University of Texas–Austin doctoral student Chi Phuong Hoang shows preliminary evidence that some green and biobased materials—often touted as low-emitting—may react with low levels of naturally occurring ozone to create “secondary” emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful to human health. Hoang tested ten common wall, flooring, ceiling, and cabinetry materials that have been identified as green by a third party. She found that ceiling tile made from inorganic perlite, cork wallpaper, and wheat-straw board were the most reactive with “realistic outdoor and indoor concentrations” of ozone. The Greenguard Environmental Institute, a nonprofit organization that establishes acceptable indoor air standards for indoor products, environments, and buildings, funded the study. Carl Smith, CEO of Greenguard, thinks the study reveals, “in a meaningful way, a new facet of how to look at how one’s product may contribute to indoor air issues.” For more information, visit

Published March 31, 2008

Navaro, R. (2008, March 31). Study Links Biobased Products with Emissions. Retrieved from

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