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The Standards Calendar

by Katharine E. Morgan

Standards make their mark on almost every product, process and service, including housing (building codes), food (organic food, sanitary requirements and can sizes), clothing (sizing and labels), household appliances (safety, energy consumption and reliability), materials (paint, plastics, steel) and many others. Take a look at how ASTM International standards impact your life throughout the year.

January

Committee C16 on Thermal Insulation
Keeping warm in the winter months is easier thanks to standards such as C 680, which helps manufacturers around the world determine what insulation thickness is most economic in terms of performance, safety requirements and cost. Other standards like C 177 and C 518 help determine the famous “R-value” that represents the ability of insulation to resist heat transfer or flow.
C 680, Practice for Determination of Heat Gain or Loss and the Surface Temperatures of Insulated Pipe and Equipment Systems by the Use of a Computer Program
C 177, Test Method for Steady-State Heat Flux Measurements and Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Guarded-Hot-Plate Apparatus
C 518, Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Transmission Properties by Means of the Heat Flow Meter Apparatus

February

Committee F30 on Emergency Medical Services
Valentine’s Day may be a big cause of beating hearts this month, but more consistent is the use of defibrillators. Standards F 1254 and F 1255 provide guidelines on their proper use by emergency medical technicians.
F 1254, Practice for Performance of Prehospital Manual Defibrillation
F 1255, Practice for Performance of Prehospital Automated Defibrillation

March

Committee F27 on Snow Skiing
Spring approaches, but March is still skiing season in many places. How can you be sure your rental boots, skis and bindings function together properly as a unit? Use of standard F 1064 by ski area rental shops provides a standard method for sampling and inspection.
F 1064, Practice for Sampling and Inspection of Complete and Incomplete Alpine Ski/Binding/Boot Systems in Rental Applications

April

Committee D19 on Water
Environmental issues come to the fore with the celebration of Earth Day in April, but they are a top priority every day to a number of ASTM committees. Consider standard D 932, which is one in a series of documents developed to identify and quantify potentially harmful bacteria and other elements in water.
D 932, Test Method for Iron Bacteria in Water and Water-Formed Deposits

May

Committee F15 on Consumer Products
Warm weather brings children outdoors where safety has been improved thanks to a trio of playground standards including F 1487 for public playground equipment, F 1148 on home playground equipment, and F 1918 for the soft contained playground equipment typically found in fast food restaurants and other commercial venues.
F 1487, Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use
F 1148, Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Home Playground Equipment
F 1918, Safety Performance Specification for Soft
Contained Play Equipment

June

Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities
The season of outdoor activities is here. You can feel safer while playing thanks to standards like F 1447 for helmets used in recreational bicycling or rollerskating and F 1163 on helmets used while horseback riding.
F 1447, Specification for Helmets Used in Recreational Bicycling or Roller Skating
F 1163, Specification for Protective Headgear Used in Horse Sports and Horseback Riding

July

Committee D04 on Road and Paving Materials
Vacationers traveling the roadways and airways are safer thanks to standards such as D 4383 and D 4280, which provide specifications for retro-reflective, raised pavement markers that delineate lanes, medians and road barriers.
D 4383, Specification for Plowable, Raised Retroreflective Pavement Markers
D 4280, Specification for Extended Life Type, Nonplowable, Raised Retroreflective Pavement Markers

August

Committee E06 on Performance of Buildings
As hurricane season in the south Atlantic begins to peak, many homeowners are more secure thanks to building construction that conforms to standards such as E 1886 for performance of exterior windows, curtain walls, doors, and storm shutters impacted by missiles. This standard was developed as a result of damage inflicted by Hurricane Andrew, which hit the state of Florida in the United States with a vengeance in 1992.
E 1886, Test Method for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors, and Storm Shutters Impacted by Missile(s) and Exposed to Cyclic Pressure Differentials

September

Committee F18 on Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers
As summer ends and weather troubles increase, consider standards such as D 120 on rubber insulating gloves and F 1891 on arc and flame resistant rainwear. These products are used by electrical workers for protection when restoring power due to weather impact.
D 120, Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves
F 1891, Specification for Arc and Flame Resistant
Rainwear

October

Committee E12 on Color and Appearance
When daylight savings time sets in, poor visibility rears its head. Many products intended to help improve visibility meet ASTM standards, such as F 923 on high visibility materials, which helps increase visibility and saves lives every day.
F 923, Guide to Properties of High Visibility Materials Used to Improve Individual Safety

November

Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants
Thanksgiving is known to be the most-traveled holiday of the year in the United States. Easing travel at airports around the world year-round is D 1655 for aviation turbine fuel. This standard is part of the reason why a jet can refuel just about anywhere in the world and be assured of quality, safety and availability.
D 1655, Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuels

December

Committee D10 on Packaging
If you have ever experienced the disappointment of opening a package only to find it was damaged, you may be interested to know that researchers have used D 999 and D 3332, drop and vibration tests, to measure the performance of packaging during shipping when developing improved packaging.
D 999, Methods for Vibration Testing of Shipping
Containers

D 3332, Test Methods for Mechanical-Shock Fragility of
Products, Using Shock Machines

Copyright 2003, ASTM

Katharine E. Morgan is general manager of Technical Committee Support at ASTM International.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM International Work Together to Improve the Safety of Consumer Products

Each year it is estimated that there are over 23,000 deaths, 31 million injuries and 500 billion dollars in societal cost associated with consumer products found in the home, school, and recreation areas. To reduce these losses, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was established as an independent federal regulatory agency whose job is to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injury from consumer products.

The Commission works to reduce the number of deaths and injuries by:

• Developing voluntary standards with industry;
• Issuing and enforcing mandatory standards; banning products if no feasible standard would adequately protect the public;

• Obtaining the recall of products or arranging for their repair; conducting research on potential product hazards; and
• Informing and educating consumers through the media, state and local governments, private organizations, and by responding to consumer inquiries.

The Consumer Product Safety Act requires that the Commission defer to a voluntary safety standard when it will adequately reduce the risk of injury addressed and there will be substantial compliance with the voluntary standard. To achieve this, the Commission staff works with ASTM International to save lives, time and money. Necessary standards development costs are shared. When a standard is being developed, expertise from multiple sources is focused in a single effort to solve a safety problem. Most of ASTM’s consumer product safety standards are developed through ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products and Committee F08 on Sports and Equipment and Facilities. At the current time the Commission’s staff is working with ASTM on the development of new or revised safety standards for numerous products including baby bouncers, baby swings, baby walkers, bassinets, cradles, diaper changing tables, recreational helmets, infant carriers, home and public playground equipment, play yards, strollers, and child resistant packaging.

Harold D. (Hal) Stratton, Jr. has been appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to head the CPSC. Stratton was confirmed as chairman on July 25, 2002, for a term through October 2006. Prior to his appointment as chairman, Stratton was a partner in the Albuquerque, N.M., law firm of Stratton and Cavin. His private law practice also included work at other Albuquerque law firms.