ASTM International Visits with China Toy Association Executives
Opportunities for Collaboration Discussed
Xiao-Guang Shi, president, China Toy Association, and May Liang, executive vice president, CTA, visited with ASTM International staff during a recent trip to the Toy Industry Association Toy Fair in New York, N.Y. ASTM staff members Leonard Morrissey and James Olshefsky presented information on ASTM International, existing relationships in China and opportunities for future collaboration.
One possible area for future collaboration between CTA and ASTM is the translation of ASTM F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. If signed into law this year, recent legislation approved by the U.S. Senate would make the ASTM toy safety standard mandatory in the United States (see below).
Morrissey and Olshefsky invited CTA members to join ASTM Subcommittee F15.22 on Toy Safety, which has jurisdiction over F963, as a means to learn more about the standard and to contribute to its content. ASTM also offered training on how to participate in the process.
CTA has more than 2,000 members, representing 75 percent of the Chinese production of toys, and the organization provides an important link between the Chinese government and the toy industry. ASTM continues to develop relationships with industry associations such as CTA around the world as a means to involve key stakeholders in the ASTM process.
ASTM Toy Safety Standard Moves Closer to Becoming a Mandatory Federal Requirement
On March 6, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to enhance toy safety by passing a bill that would make the ASTM International standard F963, Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safey, a mandatory federal requirement for all toys sold in the U.S. The bipartisan Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act, which the Senate approved in a 79 to 13 vote, would increase funding for CPSC and require that toys be independently tested to ASTM F963.
Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who added the toy safety requirement to the proposed law and championed its passage in the Senate, stated, “By requiring that children’s products be held to a higher safety standard and tested by an outside group, we can stop unsafe ones from entering the marketplace.” Commenting on the importance of the toy safety provisions in the bill, Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska remarked, “When a child unwraps a gift on his or her birthday, the surprise should be what the toy is — not whether the toy is unsafe. It should not have dangerous substances or unsafe parts.”
ASTM F963 incorporates relevant safety measures already required under federal law and includes additional guidelines and test methods to prevent injuries from choking, sharp edges and other potential hazards. ASTM Committee F15 on Consumer Products, which includes technical experts from academia, consumer groups, industry and government, revised the standard last year to account for new dangers from ingestible magnets and loud acoustic levels.
The CPSC Reform Act also adopts ASTM F2517, Specification for Determination of Child Resistance of Portable Fuel Containers for Consumer Use, as a mandatory consumer safety rule to help prevent burn injuries to children who attempt to play with gasoline stored for home use. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri inserted this provision into the Senate bill. Congressman
“Making compliance with ASTM F963 mandatory is a big step toward rebuilding consumer confidence in the safety of toys,” said Donald Mays, senior director of product safety and technical public policy for Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. Mays, who is an active member of ASTM, worked with other consumer advocates in support of this legislation.
In order to become law, the Senate bill must first be harmonized with companion legislation already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and then signed by President Bush.
Federal Railroad Administration Cites Retroreflective Sheeting Standard
A new ruling by the Federal Railroad Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, cites an ASTM standard as a means of making emergency exits from trains more visible to emergency personnel. The standard cited, D4956, Specification for Retroreflective Sheeting for Traffic Control, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee D04.38 on Highway Traffic Control Materials, part of ASTM International Committee D04 on Road and Paving Materials. The FRA ruling took effect April 1.
According to its scope, D4956 covers flexible, non-exposed glass bead lens and microprismatic, retroreflective sheeting designed for use on traffic control signs, delineators, barricades and other devices.
The FRA ruling is intended to make escape exits on passenger trains more visible by marking the exits with retroreflective sheeting in accordance with D4956. The sheeting will enable emergency responders to locate exits by shining a light on the train’s roof.
“It’s exciting to see the wide range of uses for the specifications we maintain,“ says Jason Davis, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and chair of Subcommittee D04.38. “Many of us on the subcommittee focus on the traffic control aspects of the sign sheeting document, so this is a good reminder of the potential applications we should consider in our work. I think this is an excellent safety implementation and worth the FRA’s efforts if it helps to save even a single life.”
The 2008 ASTM board of directors met in Stockholm, Sweden, in April (from left, top row): Peter M. Woyciesjes, Paul H. Shipp, Thomas A. Schwartz, Roger L. Blaine, James A. Horton, Anthony E. Fiorato (past chair), Earl A. Ruth, Eric R. Boes; (middle row): Ricardo Rodrigues Fragoso, Kenneth F. Yarosh, Manuel A. Lascarro, James A. Thomas (president), Richard F. Kayser (chair), Paul K. Whitcraft (vice chair), Richard W. Reaves; (front row): James A. Luppens, Gregory E. Saunders (past chair), Catherine H. Pilarz, Julie H. Kilgore (finance and audit chair), Mary C. McKiel, Sandra L. Niks, Roger E. Stoller (vice chair). Not pictured: Rashid Ahmad Bin-Fahad, Benedict R. Bonazza, Daniel M. Harrington.
ASTM International staff met with a delegation of professionals from Serbia on March 10. The group was visiting the U.S. under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. During their ASTM visit, the delegation learned about the use of private sector standards by government agencies and the work of ASTM International Committee E31 on Healthcare Informatics, with a focus on E2369, Specification for Continuity of Care Record (CCR). Shown here, from left to right: Ljubinka Ruzica, interpreter; Vladica Tintor, general secretary, Republic Telecommunication Agency; James Thomas, president, ASTM International; Milos Androvic, expert associate, Commission for the Protection of Competition; Vladan Ignjatovic, head of public relations department, Serbian State Fund for Health Insurance; and Teresa Cendrowska, vice president, global cooperation, ASTM International.
Linda Boniello, supervisor, peer review services, American Institute of Physics, was recently given an Award of Appreciation by ASTM International Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing for her work directing the review of papers presented at the Sixth Symposium on Roofing Research and Standards Development. In his letter, Walter J. Rossiter, chair, Subcommittee D08.92 on Awards and Honors, noted that the plaque was given to acknowledge Boniello’s “unwavering commitment to ensuring that the papers were critically reviewed and revised in a timely fashion,” which resulted in published proceedings being available at the symposium. The plaque and letter were presented to Boniello by her supervisor, Janis Bennett, managing editor, AIP, on behalf of Committee D08.
DeJong Becomes Staff Manager
Christine DeJong has become a staff manager in the Technical Committee Operations division of ASTM International. In her new position, DeJong is responsible for the activities of 12 ASTM International committees. Previously, she had worked since December 2005 as a customer relations representative at ASTM. She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish as well as law and justice from Rowan University.
ASTM Visits Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Continuing with the academic outreach efforts highlighted during 2007’s Year of the Student campaign, ASTM International began 2008 with a visit to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., on Feb. 7.
Hugh Casper, a member of ASTM International Committee E28 on Mechanical Testing, presented information about ASTM and the standards development process to approximately 20 undergraduate engineering students during their class at RPI’s Materials Research Center. Accompanying Casper on the trip were ASTM staff members Ileane Smith and James Olshefsky. The students attending were juniors and seniors enrolled in the Mechanical Properties of Materials course taught by Linda Schadler, Ph.D., professor of materials engineering at RPI.
Casper, senior field service engineer/deputy quality manager, MTS Systems Corp., explained how he first became exposed to standards, why he became an ASTM member, and the importance of involvement in ASTM. Don VanSteele, manager of instructional laboratories for the Materials Science and Engineering Department, which hosted the event, reiterated the benefits in being involved in standards development organizations such as ASTM. Olshefsky and Smith provided additional background on ASTM International and its student offerings.
“We first became interested in visiting RPI because Dr. Schadler has made great use of ASTM’s Standards on Campus packages in her class,” Olshefsky said. This particular group of students was the third at RPI to take advantage of ASTM’s package that allows students to download up to 10 standards for $10. Students found that being able to download electronic versions of the standards being used in their laboratory assignments greatly facilitated their work.
Olshefsky Speaks to Eastern University Class
James Olshefsky, director, external relations, ASTM International, recently visited Eastern University near Philadelphia, Pa. While at Eastern, Olshefsky spoke to an international business class about how standards impact the international business environment and can add measurable value and support to the sound execution of corporate strategies related to international trade. Topics discussed included the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade and ASTM’s multiple path approach to international standardization.
“The presentation to our undergraduateinternational business class at Eastern University made our business students aware of a realm that has traditionally been a part of the engineering and science disciplines,” said instructor Phillip Thomas, who hosted the Eastern visit. “The presentation introduced students not only to the mission and activities of ASTM International, but also to the necessity of international standards for trade. I would heartily recommend that ASTM continue to build this awareness among undergraduate business students in the U.S. and worldwide.”
Strategies for Education Discussed at ICES Workshop
James Olshefsky, director of external relations, ASTM International, participated in “Global Perspectives and Strategies for Education about Standardization,” a workshop given by the International Cooperation for Education about Standardization on Feb. 21-22. The event was hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and sponsored by ASTM International and the American National Standard Institute’s Committee on Education.
Olshefsky provided information on ASTM’s academic outreach activities at the workshop, which was presented to promote and support awareness of education about standardization worldwide. Participants from around the world learned about current activities, exchanged and discussed ideas to develop education programs, and helped ICES to identify strategic areas for future activities.
ASTM Represented at Student Event in Colombia
Information about ASTM International and ASTM’s new Online Centers was recently distributed by ASOCRETO, the concrete producers association of Colombia, at an annual event in South America that brought together more than a thousand participants, including professionals and students from civil engineering programs. The Annual Congress of Students and Professionals of Civil Engineering was organized by the National Association of Civil Engineering Students and held in Cartagena, Colombia, March 3-7.
During this year’s Congress, ANEIC worked closely with the University of Cartagena to provide relevant academic activities and plenary lectures, supplemented by simultaneous demonstrations of construction practices and technical visits. ANEIC’s mission in Colombia is to bring together students and professionals to lead civil engineering projects and activities designed to contribute to the development of the groups that meet, and the personal and professional growth of their partners.
Manuel Lascarro, serving in his third year on ASTM’s board of directors, and current director of special products for ASOCRETO in Bogotá, Colombia, has continued to be a strong proponent of ASTM’s academic outreach activities in Latin America. In addition to raising awareness about ASTM International at events like this one, ASOCRETO also hosts one of ASTM’s Online Centers now serving seven Latin American countries, including Colombia.
ASTM Board Member Bin-Fahad Becomes Environmental Minister for United Arab Emirates
ASTM International board member Rashid Ahmad Bin-Fahad, Ph.D., former secretary general of the Standardization Organization of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf GCC Standardization Organization (GSO), has been promoted to minister of environment and water within the government of the United Arab Emirates. In this role, Bin-Fahad will be responsible for a variety of disciplines, including environmental and agricultural affairs, fisheries and water.
In addition to his position at GSO, Bin-Fahad has been board vice chairman and head of the Executive Committee for the Emirates Authority for Standards and Metrology (ESMA). His career has included work in standardization, the environment, food control and wastewater treatment. Other past positions include deputy director, ESMA; head of the Food and Environmental Laboratory for the Dubai Municipality; and process engineer for the Dubai Wastewater Treatment Plant.
As minister of environment and water for the United Arab Emirates, Bin-Fahad will be working on current environmental challenges, including global warming, pollution created by both power generation and motor vehicles, and the deterioration of fresh water resources.
ASTM Advantage Award
After the success of the 2007 competition launch, ASTM International is again seeking success stories that clearly demonstrate the benefits of ASTM standards by offering the 2008 Advantage Award. Anyone who knows a case in which ASTM standards make the world safer, help the flow of business or are cited in regulation, and has data to support the example, is encouraged to write a case study for the 2008 Advantage Award competition.
Papers must accurately address, in detail, the impact of using an ASTM standard or set of ASTM standards and must contain supporting data. Cash prizes will be awarded to the authors listed on the entry form of winning entries: $15,000 for first prize; $10,000 for second prize; and $5,000 for third prize.
For more information, click here.
Frank W. Reinhart Award
ASTM International seeks nominations for the 2008 Frank W. Reinhart Award, which honors a technical committee, a subcommittee or an individual ASTM member who has made outstanding and unusual contributions to the organization in terminology standardization.
The award, established in 1981, honors the late Reinhart, who was active in ASTM terminology work for many years. Reinhart exemplified the intent of the award through his dedication to the use of correct and appropriate technical terminology in ASTM standards. The Subcommittee on Form and Style of the Committee on Standards administers the award.
Nominations documenting the contributions of the candidate must be postmarked by Aug. 1, and forwarded to Barbara Smith, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA, 19428 (phone: 610/832-9684).
Walter C. Voss Award
Nominations are requested for the 2008 Walter C. Voss Award to recognize outstanding contributions to advancing knowledge in the building technology field. The award honors longtime member and former chair of Committee C07 on Lime, Walter C. Voss. Presented to an engineer, scientist or other professional in the trade, both ASTM members and nonmembers are eligible.
Nominations should indicate how the nominee has contributed to advancing knowledge in the building technology field. Emphasis should be placed on those using materials that have led to significant advances, innovation or creative efforts that have benefited the entire construction industry and have encouraged its fundamental development.
Nominations documenting the contributions of the candidate must be postmarked no later than Aug. 1. Please send nominations to Barbara Smith, ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, W. Conshohocken, PA 19428 (phone: 610/832-9684).
Corona, Hychalk Attend GeoAmericas2008 Conference
Vanessa Corona Villatoro, ASTM Mexico office representative, and Jessica Hychalk, ASTM manager, global cooperation, attended GeoAmericas2008, the first Pan American geosynthetics conference and exhibition, March 2-5, in Cancún, Mexico. The conference, which was attended by several current and prospective members of ASTM Committee D35 on Geosynthetics, was a forum for engineers, practitioners and academia to explore current and potential applications for geosynthetics. Training, education programs and technical sessions were all featured parts of the conference, while keynote lectures, workshops, panel discussions, short courses and presentation of technical papers covered research, design and manufacturing advancements.
Sam Allen, chair, Committee D35, spoke at the conference on the standards developing efforts of the committee. Hychalk provided general information on ASTM International, standards, participation and global cooperation. Both Corona and Hychalk attended a welcome reception in which several attendees expressed interest in joining Committee D35.
ASTM Annual Business Meeting
The 2008 Annual Business Meeting will be featured during the Wednesday, June 25, ASTM members’ breakfast at the June committee week meetings in Denver, Colo. The complimentary breakfast begins at 7:00 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Contact Maureen Houck, ASTM International, for further information (phone: 610/832-9594).
National Association of Manufacturers Approves Statement on International Standards
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest industrial trade association in the U.S., with thousands of manufacturing companies and trade associations as members. During a recent board of directors meeting, NAM officially voted to update its international trade policy position, the first revision and overhaul of the policy in decades. The new NAM position includes a statement on international standards advocated by ASTM International and conformity assessment groups as follows: “The NAM believes that reliance on the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade principles for the development of international standards and the principle of national treatment for conformity assessment bodies should serve as the foundation of an effective solution that avoids standards and other unique requirements from acting as barriers to trade.”
The revision to the NAM policy position was necessary to reflect the 2002 decision of the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade, which defines a set of principles to guide the development of international standards. These principles have been captured in document “G/TBT/ 1/REV. 8. Section IX,” Decision of the Committee on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations with Relation to Articles 2, 5 and Annex 3 of the Agreement.
To review the 2002 WTO decision and information on how ASTM International meets the defined set of principles for the development of international standards, please click here.