Green Seal will no longer certify any paints and coatings, floor care products, adhesives, and degreasers containing any per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly called “forever chemicals.”
Green Seal has long prohibited products containing one type of PFAS, long-chain PFAS. The ban will now extend to the other category, short-chain PFAS. Green Seal says it is taking this action because short-chain PFAS have “the same harmful health and environmental effects as the legacy PFAS they are replacing.”
PFAS break down slowly in the environment and are found in the blood of people and animals. Studies have linked PFAS to many harmful health impacts such as decreased fertility, development delays in children, increased risk of cancer, diminished immunity to infections, and hormonal interference, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“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,” according to a Green Seal news release. “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 the reduce flammability in cleaning and degreasing agents.”
Green Seal certified paints and coatings qualify toward points for both the LEED Low-Emitting Materials credit and the LEED v4.1 Material Ingredient Optimization credit.