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 October 2007
ASTM International News

Action and Reaction: ASTM International Participates in Chemicals Conference

ASTM International was a diamond sponsor of the American National Standards Institute’s conference “Action and Reaction: Developing a Sustainable Approach to Emerging Chemical Issues,” which was held Aug. 9-10 in Baltimore, Md. Brynn Murphy, ASTM’s staff manager for Committee F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials, attended the conference, as did ASTM President James Thomas and several members of Committee F40.

The purpose of the conference was to address issues confronting industry in the face of evolving international regulations regarding the chemical content of manufactured goods. Regulatory programs such as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals), RoHS (Restriction of use of Hazardous Substances), WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment), SAICM (Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management) and GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) are requiring variations on cradle-to-grave documentation of the chemical components of manufactured products in order to produce or import these products into the regulating nations or regions.

Nearly 120 stakeholders from industry, standards developing organizations and government agencies attended the conference, which consisted of presentations on efforts under way to provide manufacturers with tools for managing chemical profiles and breakout sessions in which all participants were able to discuss experiences with several aspects of compliance with chemical regulations.

Track one of the breakout sessions concerned product life cycle. Stan Hazan, senior director of regulatory relations at NSF International, and Patricia Beattie, director of chemical risk management at General Motors, led the discussion, which focused on methods of dealing with the chemical content and reporting requirements for products currently in the marketplace or ready to enter it, and planning for the future in terms of product design, manufacturing processes and delivery systems. Participants consisted of representatives from standards developers, corporations, academia, testing and evaluation organizations, the chemical industry, government, trade associations and more. The group created three action plans: 1) establish a safe-use communication process focusing on manufactured finished goods; 2) consider the formation of a forum/clearinghouse to proactively address future legislation and use of chemicals in products; and 3) develop a materials selection process encompassing the health and environmental impacts of finished products.

Track two of the breakout sessions covered supply chain issues. Lane Hallenbeck, vice president of accreditation services at the American National Standards Institute, and Michael Kirschner, president of Design Chain Associates, moderated the session. The group discussed who has the duty of proof of compliance with regulations — suppliers or final manufacturers — and the implications to the supply chain in meeting different expectations around common issues in various regions and regulations. Participants came from the following sectors: chemicals, semiconductors, aerospace, automotive, information technology, regulation, academia and more. The group offered suggestions for an action plan that included surveying standards developing organizations to identify relevant standards; the formulation of questions for European Union regulators; a compendium of countries, organizations, acronyms and standards; and the identification of an appropriate management system standard.

Track three allowed participants to discuss ways of influencing policy. Glenn Ruskin, director of legislative and government affairs at the American Chemical Society, and Ben Wu, technology policy advisor at the department of economic development for the state of Maryland, were moderators. The group discussed avenues for laying the groundwork for compliance verification and injecting science into policy. The group proposed the development of a process for industry to offer its scientific and technical expertise to federal and state regulatory agencies, as well as international forums (such as OECD), especially in the area of emerging issues. ASTM’s Brynn Murphy is participating in the development of such a proposal.

Conference attendees and speakers all emphasized the importance of follow up. With pressing deadlines for compliance with these regulations, there is a need for improved cross-industry communication, enhanced private and public-sector collaboration, and the development of proactive approaches to addressing immediate (e.g., REACH implementation) and long-term concerns (e.g., future product life cycle and supply chain restrictions).

Toward this end, conference leaders created a list of immediate deliverables stemming from issues raised at the conference:

• Create a manufacturers’ network to focus immediately on information gathering/sharing;
• Create an action group in which all stakeholders can come together to address regulation-specific tactics and begin to define long-term sustainable approaches;
• Develop common documents and processes for manufacturers and their supply chain partners to verify compliance with REACH pre-registration;
• Identify existing and needed standards and compliance programs, best practices, training, resources, etc., that can be used to address chemical controls; and
• Develop a safe-use communication process for the manufacturers of finished goods.

ASTM International Committee F40 was formed in 2005 to develop standards in response to international regulatory programs addressed in this conference. Committee F40 is developing test methods for the analysis, identification or measurement of chemicals and elements targeted in legislation such as lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and bromine; a guide for REACH supply chain management; an environmental legislation and regulation database; and a terminology document relating to declarable substances in materials. //

Shandong Standards Expert To Visit ASTM International

Carrie Xie, a standards expert from the Shandong Provincial Institute of Standardization in China, will be spending time at ASTM International headquarters in November during a yearlong visit to study standards and conformity assessment in the United States.

Carrie Xie will be spending a year studying standardization and conformity assessment in the United States.

Mrs. Xie, who will also spend time at the American National Standards Institute, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Underwriters Laboratories and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, has worked at the Shandong Provincial Institute for 15 years. Her current position is in the Shandong World Trade Organization/Technical Barriers to Trade Inquiry Center, responsible for TBT notification, standards research in the service field and research in standards strategy of Shandong Province. Initially, Mrs. Xie worked in the standards information service center, where she was in charge of the collection of standards from other countries, translation issues and answers to questions about foreign standards in the province. In this position, Mrs. Xie became familiar with standards from organizations such as ASTM International, ANSI, NEMA and UL.

During her year in the United States, Mrs. Xie hopes to gain a deep understanding of the American standards system, certification and accreditation system, how the TBT inquiry point works here, and to find opportunities for both U.S.-based organizations and Shandong province to cooperate not only in the standardization realm but also in the areas of certification, accreditation, testing and metrology. Finally, Mrs. Xie hopes to inform those in Shandong about the organizations she visits in the United States and to provide more information to the companies in the province that want to sell their products in the U.S. market.

The Shandong Provincial Institute of Standardization is one of the branches of Shandong Provincial Bureau of Quality and Technology Supervision. SDQTS is a provincial branch of AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China). The bureau has several divisions taking responsibility for the administration of standardization, metrology, certification, accreditation, quality management, quality supervision, special equipment and food safety.

The institute works in many areas of standardization, as well as in network safety testing, software testing and evaluation, and electronic product code theory research. //

ASTM International and Saudi Arabian Standards Organization Sign Memorandum of Understanding

ASTM International has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Arabian Standards Organization, the national standards body of Saudi Arabia. James Thomas, president, ASTM International, and Nabil A. Molla, director general, SASO, signed the MOU in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 4. The purpose of ASTM International’s MOU program is to promote communication between ASTM International and national standards bodies; promote knowledge of each other’s standards development activities; facilitate greater worldwide participation in the ASTM standards development process; and facilitate the development of national standards that will aid each country’s health, safety, environmental and economic conditions. ASTM International has now signed MOUs with 51 national standards bodies and one regional standards body. //

James Thomas, president, ASTM International, and Nabil A. Molla, director general, SASO, sign a memorandum of understanding.

Sensory Evaluation Chair, Manager Meet with NAD Officials

Mona Wolf, chair of ASTM International Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation of Materials and Products, and Scott Orthey, ASTM staff manager, met with officials from the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus in August to share information about ASTM and Committee E18. Wolf and Orthey met with David Mallen, NAD assistant director, legal affairs; Lee Peeler, president and CEO, National Advertising Review Council; Andrea Levine, NAD vice president and director; and NAD attorneys.

Topics of discussion during the meeting included NAD participation in E18 standards development and workshops as well as E18 standards training for NAD, the NAD Convention, the Internet and others outside NAD. Also discussed was NAD’s use of ASTM standards E 1958, Guide for Sensory Claim Substantiation, and E 2299, Guide for Sensory Evaluation of Products by Children. //

Front row, left to right: Andrea Levine, Mona Wolf; back row, left to right: David Mallen, Lee Peeler and Scott Orthey.

ASTM Staff Meets with Indonesian Delegation

On July 30, ASTM International staff members Jeffrey Grove, Brynn Murphy and Teresa Cendrowska met with a 12-member delegation of Indonesian representatives on the topic of biofuels. The delegation was participating in a series of business meetings and technical sessions during a two-week orientation visit sponsored by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and facilitated by Meridian International.
The focus of the visit was to familiarize delegates with various public and private sector actors in the U.S. biofuels arena. Specific objectives included:

• To expose delegates to best practices and technologies to facilitate a sustainable approach to biofuels development;
• To provide a forum for Indonesian delegates to inform U.S. companies about potential commercial opportunities; and
• To encourage dialogue between biofuels sector stakeholders in Indonesia and the United States.

Grove, ASTM vice president, global policy and industry affairs, and Brynn Murphy, manager, ASTM International Committee E48 on Biotechnology, presented as part of a panel session that included representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, Office of Automotive Affairs, Office of the Pacific Basin and Office of Trade Agreements and Compliance, as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Global Standards and Information Group and the American National Standards Institute. Grove spoke about ASTM International and ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants’ work in biofuels while Murphy addressed the work of Committee E48.

Grove and Murphy also discussed the cooperation in international standards development between ASTM and technical experts from Indonesia that has been facilitated through the memorandum of understanding signed between ASTM and Badan Standardisasi Nasional, the national standardization agency of Indonesia, in August 2004. Today, there are more than 30 technical experts from Indonesia working in ASTM technical committees and more than 30 ASTM standards have been adopted or referenced in Indonesia, including D 6751, Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B100) for Middle Distillate Fuels. //

ASTM Welcomes Vanessa Corona to Mexico City Office

Vanessa Corona will now serve as contact administrator at the ASTM International Office in Mexico City, Mexico. Ms. Corona will be assisting Luis Ordonez, director of the ASTM Latin American office, and will be available to address inquiries on standards and related technical information as well as membership. Corona will also be able to provide training on effective participation in ASTM technical committees.
Ms. Corona is currently enrolled in the Technological University of Mexico, majoring in industrial and systems engineering. She can be contacted at:

Calderón de la Barca No. 358 - 302 Polanco
México, D.F, C.P 11550
Telephone: +55 1997-8850
Fax: +55 1997-8851

Former E01 Chair and Current Manager Attend Inter-laboratory Analysis Program

Carroll Davis, former chair of ASTM International Committee E01 on Analytical Chemistry for Metals, Ores, and Related Materials, and Thomas O’Toole, ASTM International staff manger for E01, each gave presentations on ASTM at the annual Inter-laboratory Analysis Program in July. The objective of this annual conference, which is sponsored by Analytical Reference Materials International, Golden, Colo., is to provide a forum where new reference materials and ideas for future standards development are discussed. //

ASTM Continues Community Outreach with MacKenzie Park Summer Program

Children put pencils to paper and put their imaginations to work again this summer to participate in the MacKenzie Park T-Shirt Design Contest sponsored by ASTM International. The children, who range in age from toddlers to teenagers, are part of a summer park program located near ASTM International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa.

This year’s winners were announced on Aug. 10 at MacKenzie Park. First and second place winners in the following categories were: (3-7 year-olds) Bryanna Phillips, Brett Leflar; (8-10 year-olds) Amanda Phillips, Christina Walksi; (11 and up) Chris Ryan, Michele Hodges.
ASTM provided T-shirts of three separate winning designs to children who attended the West Conshohocken Summer Park Program. In addition to the contest, ASTM sponsored trips for park program participants to the Franklin Institute and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

ASTM International has sponsored the MacKenzie Park T-Shirt Design Contest and trips for participants for more than five years. In addition to this year’s trips, other destinations have included Riverbend Environmental Education Center, the Norristown Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Please Touch Museum and Longwood Gardens. //

Winners of the MacKenzie Park T-Shirt Design Contest pose with ASTM staff members at the award ceremony (click image to enlarge).

Campers, camp staff and ASTM staff display three different
t-shirt designs at the MacKenzie Park playground.

Tee shirts designed by campers during the last five years were displayed at this year’s award ceremony (click each shirt to enlarge).