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July/August 2009

Revisions Approved

Board of Directors Approves Changes to Regulations and Form and Style

Understanding the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees (once known as “the Green Book”) and Form and Style for ASTM Standards (formerly known as “the Blue Book”) is necessary for anyone developing ASTM International standards. Rules&Regs explains some of the key points of these documents.

Recent changes to both the regulations and the form and style guide were approved in April by the ASTM board of directors.


In 11.6.1, Issuance of a Concurrent Ballot, the requirement to include a rationale for why a ballot item is being balloted concurrently has been deleted for the following reasons:

  • There are very specific requirements and approvals for the issuance of a concurrent ballot that are detailed in the regulations;
  • The deleted requirement created an additional administrative step in the preparation of the ballot item that provided little information of value to the voter;
  • The language as revised is consistent with existing language in Section 11.1.3 relating to subcommittee letter ballots, which states that “Each ballot item shall be accompanied by a rationale.”
    The revised 11.6.1 now reads as follows:
    11.6.1 Issuance of a Concurrent Ballot — Ballots for minor revisions and withdrawals, or new standards and major revisions that have undergone at least one subcommittee ballot, can be issued concurrently. On concurrent ballots, the main committee ballot return serves also as the subcommittee ballot return. A ballot of the subcommittee and the main committee may be issued concurrently when approved by the main committee chairman and either approved at a subcommittee meeting or requested by the subcommittee chairman. Each concurrent ballot item shall be accompanied by a rationale. Concurrent ballots shall not be issued for initial balloting of new standards or major revisions of existing standards unless the conditions as outlined in Section 11.7 are met.

Form and Style

Two new fire caveats that committees may use to explain the uses and limitations of a standard have been added to the form and style manual. Committee E05 on Fire Standards had already approved the new caveats to their committee bylaws. The following new sections have now been added:

F2.2.2.5 The following generic caveat is appropriate for fire standards that do not describe a fire test but do produce quantitative results that are calculated measures of fire-test-response characteristics and not by themselves measures of fire hazard or fire risk.
This standard is used to determine certain fire-test responses of materials, products or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions by using results obtained from fire-test-response standards. The results obtained from using this standard do not by themselves constitute measures of fire hazard or fire risk.

F2.2.2.6 The following caveat is required for fire test methods:
Fire testing is inherently hazardous. Adequate safeguards for personnel and property shall be employed in conducting these tests.

A pdf of the regulations can be downloaded by clicking here. A pdf of the form and style manual can be found by clicking here.