WHAT IS CERTIPUR-US?
Certipur-US is a certification program by the AFPF (Alliance for Flexible Polyurethane Foam) with the mission to ensure good performance, emissions, durability, and components of the flexible polyurethane foams of pillows sold in the US. Only in 2008, it was brought to the attention of foam makers in the US that some imported foams’ quality was not good enough according to the basic safety standards of the country. They noticed that a number of foams used banned chemicals in the country that could harm the user’s health.
COMPONENTS BANNED BY CERTIPUR-US PROGRAM
Nowadays, worldwide foam manufacturers participate in this program, as long as they meet the Certipur-US standards, which prohibits the following components:
- Ozone depleters
- PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP (“Tris”) flame retardants
- Mercury, lead, and other heavy metals
- Phthalates regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Besides the void of the chemicals above, there are strict analysis and random checks on the maximum quantity of other metal components like low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million). Moreover, it also bans specific components such as some blowing agents or some flame retardant additives (antimony, nitrites and more). These limitations ensure that the user won’t expose to any health risks. To check the entire list of banned and limited chemicals for molded flexible polyurethane foam, please click here.
WHAT TYPE OF PRODUCTS AND COMPANIES FOLLOW THE PROGRAM?
You can find the Certipur-US seal in home furnishing cushioning materials such as children and adults’ mattresses, bed pillows and other home cushioning products. As per the companies, there is a directory with all the current companies, where we are proudly represented.
WHAT IS OEKO-TEX?
OEKO-TEX is an association that promotes product safety and sustainability within the production of textile. OEKO-TEX is the short name of the International Association for Research and Testing in the Field of Textile and Leather Ecology. It is an association from Zurich (1992) and holds the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX, the Made in Green by OEKO-TEX and the Leather Standard by OEKO-TEX among others.
THE STANDARD 100 BY OEKO-TEX
This certification is obtained after testing that there are no harmful chemicals in textiles. It comprehends a long list of measurements for textiles at any point in the manufacturing process, from raw materials & yarns to ready-made products. The STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX aims to regulate the global differences regarding the possible harmful substances found in textiles, bed lines and other accessories such as zip fasteners for consumer’s safety. It is important to state though, that the Standard 100 BY OEKO-TEX seal is not a quality label. This label doesn’t ensure the quality and safety when using the product, only ensures the textile quality. Depending on the use of the textile product, the testing requirements are different. OEKO-TEX divides the products into 4 main classes:
- Items for babies and infants (from 0 to 36 months old)
- Items with a large area of prolonged contact with the skin
- Accessories with no contact or little contact with the skin
- Decorative furnishing (curtains, rugs, etc.)
Among the restrictions on chemicals (more than 300 harmful substances are tested), the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX bans Azo colorants, formaldehyde, nickel and many more. It also limits the number of certain chemicals. If you wish to see the entire list of components that are banned/limited, check their Appendix 4 (page 21 and followings).
MADE IN GREEN BY OEKO-TEX
This certification is actually the combination of 2 other certifications. It includes the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX and the STeP by OEKO-TEX. This means that all products labeled with the MADE IN GREEN (MIG) certification go through the same extensive check of harmful components as the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX, and also meet the standards of the “STeP” for sustainability and for a socially responsible workplace free from child labor and discrimination. Moreover, you can trace the MADE IN GREEN label. In order to do so, you need to look for the unique ID or a QR code in the label. When you trace the label, you get visibility into the different stages of the supply chain production of that specific article as well as a confirmation that the article meets the criteria.
LEATHER STANDARD BY OEKO-TEX
This certification aims to protect the consumer and the environment by testing leather goods for harmful components. It keeps track of all types of leather goods, from leather fiber materials to the end-product. Some examples are handbags, belts, gloves and other accessories. A precondition to obtaining this label is that all parts of the good should meet the required criteria. This means that not only leather should meet the OEKO-TEX requirements, but also its non-leather components. For the non-leather components (ex: buttons or zip fasteners), the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX requirement is applied. The LEATHER STANDARD by OEKO-TEX also divides the products into 4 main classes:
- Products for babies and infants (from 0 to 3 years old)
- Products wore in contact with the skin
- Accessories without contact with the skin
- Decorative furnishing
We hope this introduction to the standards gives you some basic insights so that you can choose your pillow wisely. Now that you know the meaning of these certifications, do you know what type of pillow suits your needs best? We tell you all about it in our post How to Choose your Bed Pillow