Indoor air quality directly impacts student cognition. The science on that is clear.
For years, DCI has made this issue a priority, ensuring that our furniture does not contribute in any way to poor indoor air quality.
Why is this important?
Because furniture frequently contributes to poor indoor air quality by off-gassing harmful chemicals called VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
This is why DCI recently sought and was awarded the SCS Indoor Advantage Gold third party certification.
Indoor Air Quality Impacts Student Cognition
When it comes to students, a 2015 study from Harvard’s School for Public Health measured the impact of indoor air quality (IAC) on cognitive function. Here’s what they found.
The findings suggest that the indoor environments in which many people work daily could be adversely affecting cognitive function—and that, conversely, improved air quality could greatly increase the cognitive function performance of workers.
In a Harvard Business Review article, Healthy Buildings author Joseph G. Allen emphasizes health benefits of IAC, noting:
…the positive correlation between indoor air quality and cognitive function, where costs to implement are ($40 per person per year) are dwarfed by the productivity benefits ($6,500 per person per year). We’ve since had similar findings in a study of office workers across the United States and another year-long study of more than 300 people across six countries.
The EPA website has a section devoted to indoor air quality and student performance. Citing recent research, the EPA encourages school administrators and parents to take IAQ seriously. Among other benefits, improving IAQ will:
…reduce absenteeism, improve test scores and enhance student and staff productivity.
How DCI Builds Healthy Furniture
At DCI, we work with countless schools across the United States. For decades, we have led the contract furniture manufacturing industry with best practices for IAC.
Ahead of EPA standards, our roll-applied finishing process emits Zero VOC’s. Technically speaking, VOCs are chemicals emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids that have adverse health effects.
Ensuring our furniture emits no VOCs goes a long way to improving air quality conditions.
According to a CDC report, high levels of exposure to formaldehyde—a VOC commonly found in furniture—can cause cancer and a variety of symptoms like sore throats, scratchy eyes, nosebleeds, and coughing.
The hardwood panels that we produce in our Lisbon, NH factory use either no-added formaldehyde (NAF) based resins or ultra-low-emitting formaldehyde (ULEF) resins.
Because of these high standards, DCI is certified by third-party certification body, SCS Global Services, at their highest level for indoor air quality. It’s called Indoor Advantage Gold.
Who Is SCS Global Services?
SCS Global Services (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party quality, environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades.
Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, power generation, retail, and more.
SCS is accredited to provide services under a wide range of nationally and internationally recognized certification programs. Consistent with its mission, SCS is a chartered benefit corporation, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices.
Certification by SCS, as represented by the SCS Kingfisher, is a visual expression of proven commitment to sustainability through environmental stewardship, responsible resource management, and protection of people and communities.
What Is SCS Indoor Advantage Gold?
Indoor Advantage Gold certification is SCS Global Services’ highest level of indoor air quality performance for furniture.
The certification assures that furniture products support a healthy indoor environment by meeting strict chemical emission limits for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To be certified, products must be tested by independent labs for compliance with the ANSI/BIFMA X7.1, and either ANSI/BIFMA e.3 or CDPH/EHLB Standard Method V1-1 for VOC emissions of concerns.