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Protective Clothing Committee Signs MOU with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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 February 2006 Tech News

Protective Clothing Committee Signs MOU with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Fostering government support for ASTM International Committee F23 on Protective Clothing and other standards developing committees related to protective clothing is the central goal of a new memorandum of understanding recently signed by ASTM International and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The agreement highlights the role of the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pa., to support standards development work related to personal protective clothing and equipment.

The purpose of this MOU, which was signed in December, is to facilitate cooperation between NIOSH and ASTM International involving the determination of performance requirements and cooperation in the development of test methods, product specifications, practices, guides, classifications and terminology related to worker and emergency responder protective clothing and equipment. NIOSH, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. As part of NIOSH, NPPTL has specific responsibilities relative to the safety of protective clothing and equipment.

NIOSH and Committee F23 worked out several areas of cooperation and partnership within the MOU. NIOSH agreed to:

• Participate as members of Committee F23 and subcommittees addressing physical and threat hazard areas aligned with NIOSH areas of interest and responsibility;
• Provide technical support to Committee F23 in the development of standards that are pertinent to NIOSH programs, missions and requirements, in the form of providing information, test data, research studies or other contributions that enable the committee to advance proposed standards to adoption;
• Provide technical support to Committee F23 in the analysis and alignment of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear inhalation and dermal exposure levels to assure a systems approach to full body hazard protection and the practical application of chemical resistance data for chemical protective clothing selection;
• Inform and make presentations to Committee F23 of its ongoing programs related to emergency responder and other worker personal protective equipment, including CBRN respirator standards development;
• In cooperation with Committee F23, work toward the use of F23 standards by other standards development organizations or specifying bodies;
• In cooperation with F23, coordinate standards development and recognition by entities such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardizatin and Interoperability; and
• Support interactions with other ASTM committees.

For its part, Committee F23 has agreed to do the following:

• Consider requests and suggestions from NIOSH for creating new work items for standards development related to its programs for worker protective clothing selection, use, care and maintenance;
• Provide NIOSH F23 members access to the ASTM members-only Web site so that minutes, ballot items, schedules and other information can be obtained;
• Determine specific standards development needs for test methods or performance criteria in specifications where NIOSH may have interests and be able to provide technical support;
• Give consideration to a member-at-large seat on the F23.90 Executive Subcommittee for a NIOSH representative; and
• Recommend that Committee F23 representatives participate in and make presentations at NIOSH-sponsored conferences, seminars and workshops related to performance criteria and standards related to worker and emergency protective equipment.

Committee F 23 establishes performance specifications that assist end users with the selection, use and care of appropriate protective clothing. The committee also develops standards for material and clothing designed and constructed to protect the body from sources of contamination. Committee F23 coordinates its efforts with other ASTM committees, as well as outside organizations having mutual interests, including the National Fire Protection Association, the U.S. Department for Homeland Security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the American National Standards Institute and the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability. //

Technical Information: Jeffrey O. Stull
Phone: 512/288-8272

ASTM staff: Stephen Mawn
Phone: 610/832-9726

Upcoming Meeting: Feb. 7-9, February Committee Week, Phoenix, Ariz.

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