Yorkshire company celebrates award for making classrooms healthier

A West Yorkshire based distributor and stockholder of high-performance decorative panels is celebrating after a scientific surface solution it offers was nationally recognised for making the indoor air quality of UK classrooms safer and healthier.

Performance Panels Limited, based in Halifax, supplies and distributes Trespa® TopLab® BASE, a surface panel produced in the Netherlands by Trespa International, that is suitable for science laboratory worktops and cabinetry in schools.

Now the product, which has been specially designed for scientific applications and boasts performance qualities including healthy air quality, has been recognised with a GREENGUARD Gold certification.

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GREENGUARD certification identifies products with lower chemical emissions promoting healthy air quality. The GREENGUARD Gold standard looks more specifically at levels of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions levels to ensure that products are acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.

Photography is included of Trespa® TopLab® BASE used in an educational environmentPhotography is included of Trespa® TopLab® BASE used in an educational environment
Photography is included of Trespa® TopLab® BASE used in an educational environment

After stringent tests, Trespa® TopLab® BASE has proven to be 85.3 per cent lower in formaldehyde in comparison to similar high pressure laminate (HPL) products in the UK, making it an ideal choice for school laboratories and other educational environments. It is reported that children are more susceptible than adults to respiratory effects of formaldehyde because their neurological systems are still developing. The certification also means that the material is up to 56 per cent lower in VOC emissions in comparison to similar products in the UK. As well as science laboratory surfaces, Trespa® TopLab®BASE is also commonly used in food technology classrooms as it is suitable for food contact, very durable, not adversely affected by moisture and easy to clean.

John Eyre, Commercial Manager of Performance Panels, said: “You may not know exactly what formaldehyde is, but the likelihood is that you have been breathing it in all your life. The UK’s built environment industry is ever-changing, and it has evolved dramatically over the last thirty years with the use of materials that emit formaldehyde very common now. It’s something you may not have considered before but studies suggest that long exposure to formaldehyde can increase the risk of developing asthma in childhood.

“Children go to school for at least four-hundred and eighteen weeks in their lifetime, so it is essential to ensure that circulating air is healthy and clean. Not only will this reduce health risks, but it will also improve pupils’ alertness and concentration. Safeguarding their health is paramount with more consideration needed on the materials used in an education environment. This is why we are especially proud to be a UK Premium Partner of Trespa, distributing Trespa® TopLab® BASE. Not only is it a high performance product fit for purpose, it is also innovative and ground-breaking, creating change in not only the built environment, but also the education sector.”

To find out more about Performance Panels, visit www.performance-panels.co.uk.