UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), launched its revised third-party environmental standard for odor control products: UL 2796. This multi-attribute standard will serve as the basis of a UL certification that recognizes environmentally preferable ambient and biologically based odor control products. 
"The use of hazardous chemicals in the indoor environment is of growing concern," says Angela Griffiths, head of operations at UL Environment. "The new version of this standard will help protect personal and environmental health while still ensuring effective odor control. The combined criteria for product efficacy and environmental health set UL's sustainability standards apart and demonstrate our commitment to environmentally preferable, high-performance products."
New to the UL 2796 standard is the inclusion of non-biologically based odor control products, which expands the types of products eligible for certification. Odor control products that fall under this standard include those designed to remove unpleasant odors from indoor environments. These products work under the premise of either binding the odor molecules or breaking them down by chemical and/or biological mechanisms. Products that mask odors are not eligible under these criteria. Specifically, this standard now covers two categories of odor control products:
• Ambient odor control products (also known as called odor counteractants, air fresheners, or deodorizers), and
• Biologically based odor control products.
The revised UL 2796 standard also includes strict volatile organic compound and fragrance limits; bans on the use of antibacterial ingredients, certain solvents, listed carcinogens, and reproductive toxins or endocrine disruptors during the manufacturing process; non-toxicity requirements for humans; and new packaging measures (see the standard for details) as part of the new section on ambient odor control products.
Products need to be readily biodegradable and must demonstrate low human and aquatic toxicity. These products must also conform to specific performance, packaging, and labeling criteria.
To learn more about UL 2796, or to inquire about initiating the certification process, visit www.ul.com/environment. To download a free copy of the standard, visit www.comm-2000.com.