Greenest: Seating (Benches, Chairs, Couches, Theater) & Fabric

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Consumer, Industrial

Environmental & Health Information

  1. Hexavalent and trivalent chromium: All components of a furniture assembly with plated finishes must be consistent with the Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances of the European Union Directive (EU RoHS) and must contain less than 100 ppm of hexavalent and trivalent chromium.
  2. Heavy Metals: All components of a furniture assembly, including textiles, finishes and dyes, must contain less than 100 ppm of heavy metals including mercury, cadmium, lead and antimony.
  3. Textiles that either are certified to GOTS, Oeko-Tex, 100 STeP, or Cradle to Cradle standards -OR- have no hazardous handful chemicals listed in HH and CEH lists (formaldehyde and other VOCs emissions, flame retardant chemicals (NOTE: excludes TB 133), added antimicrobial chemicals (ones added for the sole purpose of preserving the product are exempt), per- and poly-fluorinated chemicals (PFAS), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) (NOTE: products made of less than 1% PVC by weight are exempt).

Info on this product category: Furniture: Non-upholstered

Why Go Green

For furniture listed above as "greenest," manufacturers self-reported that their products can be made with:

- None of these five "hazardous handful" toxic chemicals:

  1. Antimicrobial chemicals because they can make bacteria resistant to antibiotics and disrupt our hormones.  

  2. Flame retardant chemicals because they do little, if anything, to slow or prevent fire. They migrate out of products and escape into our air, dust and our bodies. And they’re associated with cancer, lower intelligence quotient (IQ), and reproductive harm.

  3. Formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Formaldehyde is known to cause cancer, yet it is in adhesives found in wood furniture. 

  4. Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) because they are associated with cancer, high cholesterol and obesity.  They have been found to migrate out of products and get into our air, dust, water and bodies.

  5. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) because it usually has phthalates (some of which disrupt our hormones and probably causes cancer), and sometimes it has lead (which can cause reproductive problems and nerve disorders), and when PVC is made or disposed, it releases cancer-causing dioxins.

- No hexavalent and trivalent chromium or heavy metals.

- Textiles that do not have the five "hazardous handful" toxic chemicals above, or are certified by GOTS, Oeko-Tex 100, STeP, or Cradle to Cradle.

See the "Criteria" section below for how "greener" and "green" furniture at the top section of this page meet some of the health and environmental criteria above.

Criteria for Furniture: Non-upholstered

Criteria for Suggested

Last updated

Last updated: 
January 15, 2021

Guide for City Staff

Citywide Contract

Special Purchasing Instructions

See discounted prices for Knoll's Generation Task Chair in the most recent Seating Contract Order Sheet.

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