Green Seal to Prohibit PFAS in Its Certified Products

This comes as a growing body of evidence indicates short-chain PFAS are just as hazardous.

By HFT Staff


Green Seal announced at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo that it will prohibit any per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Green Seal-certified paints and coatings, floor care products, adhesives and degreasers. 

Because of Green Seal’s stringent criteria, certified paints and coatings qualify toward points for both the LEED Low-Emitting Materials credit and the LEED v4.1 Material Ingredient Optimization credit, making Green Seal’s certification standard one of a select few to achieve this recognition. 

Green Seal’s standards have long prohibited long-chain PFAS formally classified as hazardous. However, a growing body of evidence indicates that short-chain PFAS have the same harmful health and environmental effects as the legacy PFAS they are replacing. Green Seal will update its standards for paints and coatings, floor care products, adhesives and degreasers to prohibit all approximately 12,000 chemicals in this class. 

PFAS are frequently used as functional ingredients in these product categories. A recent study found that half of tested paint products contain PFAS, which may be used for glossiness, to reduce peeling or for stain resistance or water repellency. Most acrylic and wax floor finishes on the market contain PFAS as leveling and wetting agents, and PFAS are also used to increase wettability in adhesives or reduce flammability in cleaning and degreasing agents. 

Green Seal’s proposed updates to its standards for these product categories follows the non-profit’s prohibition of all PFAS in certified cleaning and personal care products last year. Green Seal is taking a phased approach to implementing PFAS prohibitions to ensure its standards effectively address manufacturing and use considerations that vary by product category, including exposure pathways, functional performance and regrettable substitutes.  

In addition to its certification programs, Green Seal has partnered with material-health leader HPDC to become an approved preparer and third-party verifier of Health Product Declarations (HPDs).  Whether or not a product is certified, Green Seal can prepare an HPD report for it to increase ingredient transparency while also maintaining critical trade secrets, and to assure that the product counts toward the LEED v4.1 Material Ingredient credit. 



October 2, 2023


Topic Area: Sustainable Operations


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