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A Timely Issue
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 July 2006 From the Editor's Desk
E-mail Maryann Gorman

A Timely Issue

While it is certainly not a coincidence, the timing couldn’t be more perfect for an issue of Standardization News that contains three articles devoted to Committee F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials. The committee was organized in early 2005 as a way to help industries deal with the European Union (EU) Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS), which went into effect on July 1, as copies of this magazine were rolling off the presses.

RoHS requires that all manufacturers of electronic and electrical equipment sold in Europe must comply with the EU’s restriction of hazardous substances directive, which mandates the reduction of six specific hazardous substances: lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls and polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

Currently there are 159 members from over 20 countries on Committee F40. These countries include Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. According to Brynn Iwanowski, ASTM International staff manager for Committee F40, the number of new members from around the world is growing on a weekly basis. Because of the international focus of Committee F40’s activities, many of its meetings will take place outside the United States, including the meeting in Shanghai this October.

In his introductory feature, Geoffrey Bock provides a useful overview of the RoHS directive, as well as the role of Committee F40 in dealing with RoHS legislation around the world. Tim McGrady’s article is an in-depth look at the regulations and the committee, while David Edenburn describes the efforts of Subcommittee F40.03 on Monitoring of Legislation/Regulation to create a comprehensive database of declarable substance regulations.

Taken together, the stories on F40 by Bock, McGrady and Edenburn paint a portrait of a dynamic ASTM International committee that is ready to face the very real challenges involved in declarable substance regulations around the world.

Two additional stories in this issue also prove the dynamism of ASTM International Standards. In a Standards in Education feature, a team of four writers led by Anne Wilcock discusses the important role that standards play in the marketing program at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. The focus of the story is on a quality management course taught at the university and the relevance of standards to business students.

Finally, Salim Brahimi’s detailed look at the new standard, F 2329, Specification for Zinc Coating, Hot-Dip, Requirements for Application to Carbon and Alloy Steel Bolts, Screws, Washer, Nuts, and Special Threaded Fasteners, focuses on issues specific to that particular standard. However, in revealing the background of one standard and in thoroughly examining its contents, Brahimi’s article is a reminder of just how much collaborative effort and innovative thinking go into the development of each one of ASTM International’s standards.

Maryann Gorman
Editor in Chief

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