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Better indoor climate in Nordic Swan Ecolabelled preschools

A new study shows that Nordic Swan Ecolabelled preschools have a healthier indoor climate. This is the first scientifically established study showing that Nordic Ecolabelling requirements are the right way to build a climate-smart and non-toxic society.

The study shows that Nordic Swan Ecolabelled preschools have a better indoor climate for the children and adults residing there.

The chemicals examined in the study are substances classified as hazardous to health in various ways, such as allergy-causing, carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting substances. It was found that, for example, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), organophosphates (OPFR) and brominated flame retardants were lower in the ecolabelled preschools.

– The study shows that unnecessary exposure of hazardous substances to humans can be avoided if a conscious choice of materials is made during construction. We saw that the exposure of chemicals can be reduced right from the start when new preschools are built, says Josefin Persson, former researcher at Örebro University. She has investigated the air in three preschools built as low-energy houses. In such houses, walls, windows and doors are sealed with plastics to achieve a lower energy consumption. But how do these climate smart, but very dense buildings affect the indoor climate and the health of preschool children?

Two of the three preschools with low energy use were ecolabelled preschools (Nordic Swan Ecolabel and Miljöbyggnad Silver). The results for the two preschools were compared with that of a third that was a so called low-energy building but however not ecolabelled. The study clearly showed that the levels of harmful chemicals were lower in the preschools that were ecolabelled, and as such, built with ecolabelled building materials.

Sustainable construction is both climate smart and non-toxic

Nordic Swan Ecolabelled preschools are a relatively new phenomenon and the study is the first scientifically established:

– The study is proof for Nordic Ecolabelling setting the right requirements. The study also sends an important message to future procurers. To achieve sustainable construction, it’s important to see the big picture. We can’t keep focusing only on saving energy but will also have to take responsibility for a non-toxic environment, says Xenofon Lemperos, product specialist at Ecolabelling Sweden.

A Nordic Swan Ecolabelled building has been examined from a holistic perspective: low energy use, controlled building process, good ventilation and daylight penetration, as well as tough demands on building materials. Ecolabelled building materials are among the least environmentally harmful on the market and meet tough demands on environmentally and health-damaging substances. Furthermore, Nordic Ecolabelling requirements are gradually being tightened as the business grow better and better at building climate-smart and non-toxic.

Read the Nordic Ecolabelling requirements for Small houses, apartment buildings and buildings for schools and pre-schools here
Read more about the study here (in Swedish, use google translate)
For more information, please contact:

Josefin Persson, Ph D in Chemistry, at +46 (0)70 693 04 51 or at josefin.persson@structor.se

For more information, please contact: