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August 2008

HEADLINES... This month’s top stories:

New Pennsylvania Law Requires ASTM Standard

A new Pennsylvania law to help prevent smoking-related fires will require that cigarettes sold in the state perform well when tested using ASTM International standard E2187, Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes. While any lit cigarette is a potential fire hazard, cigarettes that perform well in the ASTM standard are less likely to start fires when left unattended. Backed by the state fire commissioner and fire safety advocacy groups, the law won unanimous approval in the state legislature before being signed into law. The law will reduce the potential for cigarette-related fires in Pennsylvania, the sixth most populous state in the U.S., and the state where ASTM International headquarters is located. Since 2003, 37 U.S. states have adopted similar ignition-resistant cigarette legislation. [Full story]

Send in Your Statistics Questions for New Q&A
Statistics play an important role in the ASTM International standards you write, such as the development of precision and bias statements for test methods, running interlaboratory studies, knowing how to round numbers properly, and determining sample size. A panel of experts is ready to answer your questions about how to use statistical principles in ASTM standards in a new question-and-answer column that will debut in the September/October issue of Standardization News. Send your questions to SN Editor-in-Chief Maryann Gorman at

Officers' Training Workshop
The 2008 ASTM Officers' Training Workshop will be held Sept. 8-9 at ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. The Workshop, intended primarily for committee officers, subcommittee chairs or others in leadership positions, will provide valuable information about how to effectively manage responsibilities within ASTM committees. Online registration is available through August 18. For more information, visit the ASTM Web site or contact Kevin Shanahan at


GLOBAL NOTES . . . ASTM around the world:

New MOU Signing

ASTM has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Administration. The MOU program promotes communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies worldwide, fostering awareness of the standardization systems of all parties involved. To date, 60 MOUs have been signed. View more information about the ASTM MOU program.

COMMITTEE NEWS... The latest from ASTM's technical committees:

Radiological Weapons
The purpose of a new standard from Committee E54 on Homeland Security is to assist municipalities with preparations to minimize the effects in the case of a radiological "dirty bomb" detonation in a major city. [Full story]

Handling of Annealed Glass
All interested parties in the glass industry are invited to participate in the development of a new standard from ASTM's Occupational Health and Safety committee for the safe handling of annealed glass. [Full story]

Recycling of Plastics
A new practice from Committee D20 will facilitate more efficient recycling of a variety of post-consumer plastics. [Full story]

DID YOU KNOW?...Standards for Swimming Pool Safety

Keeping Athletes Safe

The 2008 Olympics will open August 8 in Beijing and with it the excitement of watching dedicated and talented athletes from all over the world compete in a variety of sports. As millions watch the games, most will not even think of the important role that standards play in keeping the participants safe. There are ASTM standards for various materials and equipment used in sporting events, including helmets, footwear, padding and protective gear, mats, playing surfaces and more. ASTM guides, specifications and test methods have been developed for many of the sports featured at the summer Olympics, including archery, baseball and softball, basketball, cycling, equestrian, football, gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, track and field, and wrestling. In addition to keeping the games running smoothly, standards promote safety and minimize the risk of injuries to all parties, from the athletes, coaches and sports officials to the spectators, media and Olympic employees.

PUBLICATIONS... New publications from ASTM now available:

ASTM Online Dictionary of Engineering Science and Technology

ASTM Online Lab, Equipment and Consulting Directories

STP 1496, Masonry

STP 1500, Pesticide Formulations and Delivery Systems, 27th Volume: Traditional and Non-Traditional Developments

STP 1501, Automotive Lubricant Testing and Additive Development

ASTM Standards for Property Management Systems

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CALENDAR... Committee Weeks, Symposia and Workshops, TPTs: Technical Committee Meetings

Upcoming ASTM Committee Week Meetings

  • October Committee Week, Sept. 28-Oct. 3, Miami Beach, FL
  • For more information on ASTM technical committee meetings and committee weeks, including locations, detailed schedules and future meeting dates, click here.

  • View a complete listing of all ASTM meetings.

Upcoming Symposia & Workshops

Upcoming Technical & Professional Training (TPT) Courses


For more information, please visit the ASTM Web site,

To see a full list of ASTM’s technical committees and view their Web pages, click here.

ASTM International is one of the world’s largest management systems for the development of voluntary standards for materials, products, systems, and services. Currently, ASTM has more than 30,000 members from around the globe representing industry, government, academia, and consumers. Participation in ASTM International is open to any interested party. The Annual Book of ASTM Standards contains more than 12,000 standards developed by ASTM’s technical standards-writing committees representing over 100 diverse technical fields.

Erin McElrone, Editor

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