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March/April 2011
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ANSI Releases Third Edition of U.S. Standards Strategy

The updated United States Standards Strategy – Third Edition, which articulates the principles and tactics that guide how the U.S. develops standards and participates in the international standards setting process, has been released by the American National Standards Institute. The strategy, first approved in 2000, has this time been modified to reflect greater reliance on cross-sector collaborations; increased importance of public-private sector partnerships; enhanced U.S. government efforts to coordinate agency standards activities and engagement; and U.S. government recognition of the integrity of the existing U.S. standards process through active participation in standards development and as a user of standards for regulation and procurement.

ANSI, NIST and SAC Sign SOI for Standards Cooperation

A tripartite Statement of Intent, signed Jan. 19 by the American National Standards Institute, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC), is intended to broaden collaboration on standards issues, build on existing standards cooperation activities and lay the groundwork for future collaboration. The SOI is also intended to enhance public-private partnerships between China and the United States.

NIST Ends Work of Calibrating Mercury Thermometers

As of March 1, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has stopped providing calibration services for mercury thermometers. Ending the program is part of a larger effort to phase out the use of mercury thermometers completely. The effort is a collaboration among NIST, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, environmental and industry groups, and standards organizations, including ASTM International. Learn more about the NIST/EPA effort to phase out mercury thermometers. Learn more about ASTM's work in this area.

Product Safety

To further the global safety of consumer products, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has signed memorandums of understanding with the Australian and Hong Kong governments. The agreements formalize plans to share information about recalled products, consumer product regulations, product testing requirements and product safety campaigns; the agreements should also facilitate working toward compatible product safety standards. CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum signed the MOUs with Richard Yuen, Hong Kong’s customs and excise commissioner, and Graeme Samuel, chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

RCI Convention Slated for April

Educational seminars, product demonstrations and a trade show highlight the 26th RCI International Convention and Trade Show, which will be held April 7-12 in Reno, Nev. Sessions will address the specification, design and installation of roofing, green roofing systems, water vapor permeance, building envelope consulting and more.

CPSC Extends Stay of Lead Testing and Certification Requirement

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to extend the stay of enforcement for testing and certification of lead content in children’s products — except metal components of children’s jewelry — until Dec. 31. At that time, children’s product manufacturers and importers must have appropriate certificates indicating their products have been tested by a CPSC-approved third-party laboratory in order for their products to be sold in the U.S. During the stay, companies must continue to comply with federal restrictions for total lead content.