CertiPUR-US is a certification that is awarded to the manufacturers that use the foam for various purposes. The polyurethane foam used for bedding, upholstery industry is certified as safe and fit for use indoors. The CertiPUR-US certifies that the polyurethane foam was made with no ozone depleters, certain fire retardants, harmful heavy metals, formaldehyde, or phthalates and has very low emission of volatile organic compounds. Therefore, the absence of these compounds helps keep the indoor air quality healthier. The products that use foam that has the CertiPUR-US certification are the safer ones than those which lack the same.
The CertiPUR-US certification covers a vast area of chemical compounds. In fact, the certification seal says that the given product has undergone tests and is a safe foam in the manufacturing. The seal also upholds the reputation of the manufacturer and also helps the environment in turn.
- No Ozone depleters: The main compound that depletes the protective covering of earth, ozone, is the chlorofluorocarbon. Chloroflurocarbon (CFC) have been used in the foam making for a long time and by eliminating this compound the foam made becomes healthier for use. The CertiPUR-US tests the sample foam for this compound. The certification proves that the given foam is devoid of any trace of this CFC and therefore is safe for the environment.
- Without PBDEs, TDCPP or TCEP flame retardants: The CertiPUR-US checks for the presence of these flame retardants in the foam. Usually the memory foam or other foam uses some kind of flame retardant chemical in it to make it fire proof. These chemicals are harmful to the health. As a result it can cause allergies and other diseases like cancer, infertility etc. Any product that has none of these compounds are downright healthy. The CertiPUR-US certification seal proves that the foam contains none of these. The CertiPUR-US keeps a list of such flame retardant compounds that are much harmful and have been identified by the Globally Harmonized System.
- Without any heavy metals or formaldehyde: Heavy metals or formaldehyde are the next health diminishing elements. Even though the foam makers do not use heavy metals or formaldehyde, the CertiPUR-US does check for these metals such as mercury, lead etc. Formaldehyde is the most notorious for the poor indoor air quality. Even the trace of these compounds and metals can jeopardize the health system and the CertiPUR-US seal certifies there are none.
- No phthalates-Phthalates are termed thal-ates, are the softening agent used in many products. The foam making do use this chemical usually. This compound and 7 of its varieties have been eliminated from using in many of the consumer products. The CertiPUR-US demands a detailed process of the foam making to see if phthalates are used in any step of the making.
- Low VOCs: The volatile organic compounds are the major part of the poor indoor air quality. It comes from various daily using items. CertiPUR-US tests the foam for about 72 hours to check the total emission of these volatile organic compounds. The lower the emission better the foam is. The CertiPUR-US certification does not mean that the foam is no-emission, it just has less volatile compounds emitted. The foam has to have less than 0.5 parts per million emission to be termed as low VOC.
The certification period of CertiPUR-US
Initially the foam manufacturers when applying for the certification will have to send their samples of foam and get the certification that is valid only for 6 months. Again they have to undergo the same process to extend the certification for another 6 months. After the first year, the certification is given annually. Each year they will have to continue to renew the certification.
As for the products that are made using the certified foam, the certification stays intact forever. It is the foam that has the certification and not the final product like the mattress or the sofa that we use.
What are eligible for CertiPUR-US certification?
- Polyurethane foam
- Conventional flame retardant polyether foam
- The low density, super soft foam that are less than 15 lbs
- The high resilient foam
- Viscoelastic memory foam
Any of this foam that is used to make any consumer products can be tested to get the CertiPUR-US certification. The process is the same for all except for other kinds of foam that will be dealt as case by case basis by the administration.
CertiPUR-US is not related to mattress
Having a CertiPUR-US certification on the foam that is used for the mattress does not mean that the mattress itself gets the certification. The mattress or the sofa has got nothing to do with the certification. The mattress might use other products along with the certified foam in the making and that materials may or may not have the certification. If such material contain any kind of harmful chemicals or ingredients, that can also cause health problems.
Some mattress manufacturers use only the CertiPUR-US certified materials in the making of their products, while some others use the certified foam in association with other materials as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does the product label not show the CertiPUR seal on it?
The final product has got nothing to do with the CertiPUR-US certification. It is only the foam that is used in the product that gets the certification. So, check for the CertiPUR-US certification in the used materials rather than the product label. The product label cannot show the certification seal as it does not have any.
How do I end up having allergies after using CertiPUR certified foam mattress?
A mattress that uses CertiPUR-US certified foam can also have other material in the making. If you are allergic to any of these materials, you are most likely to have allergic reactions. If you are allergic to latex mattress, and you are using it, you might have the unexpected allergic reaction. The CertiPUR-US certification applies only for the foam layer that is subjected to the test.
What are flame retardants and which of them come under the CertiPUR certification?
The CertiPUR-US certification process lists many flame retardenat chemicals that are checked for their presence. They are antimony, penta, deca and octa bromodiphenyl ether,chlorinated phenols, dimethyl methylphosphonate, nitrites, polychlorinated/brominated biphenyls, polychlorinated terphenyls, and many tris phosphates, phosphinoxide etc. Therefore, next time you buy a mattress make sure they fall under CertiPUR certification.
Can companies from other countries get the CertiPUR certification?
Seems like the CertiPUR-US certification is awarded for the foam send from other countries as well. As a matter of fact, the CertiPUR-US certification is given to the foam from countries like US, Canada, Mexico, Italy and China. Hence the companies that apply from these countries can continue to have the certification seal as long as they comply with the re-certification process properly.