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Measurement/Testing of Chemical Substances Released from Construction Materials

Although measurement of chemical substances within the air indoors is being enhanced, systems to measure the amount of chemical substances released from construction materials continue to be built. On this page, we introduce some methods used to measure the amount of chemical substances released from construction materials.

Related Laws

The Building Standards Act has been approved by the Cabinet - It includes countermeasures for so-called sick houses -

The revised Building Standards Act was enacted on July 1, 2003.

In addition to banning the use of construction materials containing chlorpyrifos, the act also restricts the use of construction materials that contain formaldehyde. In addition, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is in the process of updating and establishing new JIS standards for construction materials.

Measurement

JIS A 1901: Small Chamber Method

The desiccator method is one well-known method for measuring formaldehyde released from construction materials. However, the small chamber method, which also covers volatile organic compounds (VOCs), was established on January 20, 2003.

Ventilation frequency can be used to evaluate the amount released under testing conditions close to that of conditions indoors that approximate the highly airtight and insulated homes seen in Japan.

Countermeasures for construction materials from which chemical substances are released into the air indoors have largely been put into place. However, the focus is now increasingly on chemical substances released from furniture or consumer electronics brought into homes after construction is complete. Next, we introduce an evaluation method that uses a large chamber.

Basic conditions for small chamber method
Chamber 20L
Ventilation frequency 0.5 times/hour
Sample load factor 2.2 m2/m3 (example)
Temperature 28℃
Test laboratory Please contact
Testing overview diagram immediately below “Basic conditions for small chamber method” table

Small Chamber Method and and Heat Accelerated Method

Small Chamber Method has a disadvantage that it requires a long test period.
We have developed a laboratory system that enable us to measure quickly outgassing substances from construction materials by using correlation data between small chamber method and heat accelerated method. Heat accelerated method is recommended in the stage of screening such as material development and selection.

Heat accelerated method is also useful to measure phthalates which small chaber method is difficult to apply because of their few outgassing substances and adsorption property on chamber surfaces.

Countermeasures for construction materials from which chemical substances are released into the air indoors have largely been put into place. However, the focus is now increasingly on chemical substances released from furniture or consumer electronics brought into homes after construction is complete. Next, we introduce an evaluation method that uses a large chamber.

Evaluation of ECMA / ENV compliant home appliances using 150 liters chamber

This is a 150 L chamber that is compliant with ENV-13419 and ECMA-328-00. In addition to evaluating physical objects such as televisions, PCs, and audio equipment, it is capable of conducting measurements while electrical appliances are running.

  • Material: SUS
  • Capacity: 150 L
  • Temperature: Up to around 60℃

Large chamber

This is a large aluminum chamber that is roughly 4.5 tatami mats large. When furniture and electrical appliances are placed inside, it allows for tests to be run in a environment that simulates a room in a standard home. Rather than evaluating the amount released from furniture and consumer electronics, this is more suited to testing models in rooms and performing risk assessment.

  • Chamber material: Aluminum
  • Temperature: Room temperature
  • Floor space: Roughly 4.5 tatami mats
  • Chamber capacity: 16.8 m³

Assembled large chamber

This prefabricated chamber offers a variable size to match the sample load factor to what is being measured.

  • Average temperature: Approx. 19℃
  • Average relative humidity: Approx. 46%Rh
  • Ventilation frequency: 0.5 times/hour
  • Floor space: Roughly 3 tatami mats
  • Room capacity: 5.2m³

Comparison to Small Chamber Method

There is a good correlation between large chamber and small chamber

  Toluene T-VOC
Time (hr) 24 48 72 24 48 72
Release speed Large chamber
(19°C avg.)
176 134 56 3430 2736 1868
(μg/m2・h) Large d chamber
(25°C converted value)
238 181 75 4882 3894 2659
  Small chamber (25°C) 267 70 4522 2784

Technical News

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