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May/June 2010

Product Certification

All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards developing work of Subcommittee F23.50 on PPE Certification and Interoperability, part of ASTM International Committee F23 on Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment. The subcommittee, which was formed in 2009, is currently working on a proposed new standard, WK27616, Practice for a Product Certification Process.

According to Karen Lehtonen, director of products, Lion Apparel Inc., and chairman of F23.50, the subcommittee was formed after subcommittees within F23 began developing performance standards in specialized areas such as air-fed ensembles and pesticide worker personal protective equipment.

“In order to ensure the specifications are actually met, tested and performance-maintained, the groups were interested in requiring that the products covered by the specifications were certified,” says Lehtonen. “So, in lieu of each subcommittee drafting their own certification language, it was discussed within the committee that we develop F23.50 to provide a template for use when a subcommittee wants to require certification of the product to the standard.”

Lehtonen notes that, while F23 members will find WK27616 useful when developing specifications, the proposed new standard will benefit end users as well because they will have the confidence that a product has been manufactured, tested and certified under standardized guidelines.

“WK27616 will allow for a mechanism within ASTM standards for consistency in evaluating products for certification by an independent third party under the certification requirements,” says Lehtonen.

In addition to WK27616, F23.50 is planning to begin work on proposed standards that will address interoperability of personal protective equipment. End users of such equipment are particularly encouraged to participate in F23.50.


Technical Information: Karen Lehtonen, Lion Apparel Inc., Dayton, Ohio

Phone: 937-415-2932

ASTM Staff: Stephen Mawn

Phone: 610-832-9726