5. 1. 6. Limits for VOC and SVOC emissions from insulating materials

description relevant product categories 


Insulation materials with organic constituents may emit volatile compounds.

Plastic insulation materials may primarily emit monomers into indoor air. While there has been no evidence so far that insulation materials made from PUR/PIR emit relevant isocyanate concentrations into indoor air, in the case of polystyrene insulation materials, relevant styrene emissions have been detected. The main health hazards brought about by styrene include neurotoxic effects, particularly on the central nervous system (e.g. memory deficiencies, neurological symptoms, impaired colour vision). The question as to whether styrene may trigger cancer is a controversial issue among experts, as is its possible reprotoxicity. However, there are many reliable studies that regard such effects as likely (cf. BMLFUW 2003b; guideline on indoor air assessment).

Insulation materials with binders that contain formaldehyde (e.g. mineral wool insulation materials) may also emit formaldehyde.


To prevent and avoid long-term effects on indoor air due to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), insulation materials that are installed facing the interior shall be low-emission materials. Annex ZA of the DIN EN 13162 to DIN EN 13171 series of standards on thermal insulation products for buildings requires initial type testing to be carried out for emissions of volatile compounds.

minimum requirement

If insulation materials are installed facing the interior, without a wind-tight layer separating them from the indoor air, the following criteria for emission behaviour must be met:



Max. test chamber concentration after 28 days

Carcinogenic substances classified as Categories 1A and 1B under CLP Regulation 1272/2008 (C substances) 1 µg/m³ (not quantifiable)

Total of volatile organic compounds C6–C16 (TVOCs)

300 µg/m³

Total of semi-volatile organic compounds C16–C22 (TSVOCs)

100 µg/m³
Formaldehyde*) 0,05 ppm*)


*) Evidence required only for insulation materials with binders containing formaldehyde.


Manufacturer's declaration that the insulation material possesses one of the properties below:



Test report of an accredited testing laboratory, with test chamber procedure in accordance with ÖNORM EN ISO 16000 (-3),-6,-9,-11 and ÖNORM EN 16516. with test specifications according to AgBB-Scheme 2018, with a space loading of ≥ 0.5 m²/m³ for insulation materials. For older measurements, tests according to AgBB-Scheme 2015 are also accepted. The test certificate must not be more than 5 years old.

All products awarded one of the following eco labels meet these criteria:

Alternatively, the corresponding baubook declaration may serve as evidence (www.baubook.info/oea).

background, sources

baubook green procurement
Harmonised “EcoBuildingCriteria” provided by “ÖkoKauf Wien” and “service package sustainable construction in Vorarlberg”