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ASTM International Oxygen Safety Training Courses Presented at EIGA Workshop

The European Industrial Gases Association invited ASTM International’s Committee G04 on Flammability and Sensitivity of Materials in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres to participate in a special workshop on oxygen safety on June 22-25 in Brussels, Belgium. Three members of Committee G04 — Elliot Forsyth, Barry Newton, and Gwenael Chiffoleau — conducted two ASTM training courses and gave a presentation at the workshop on using ASTM methods to identify fire hazards in oxygen systems.

EIGA is a technically oriented safety organization representing the vast majority of European and a number of non-European companies producing and distributing industrial, medical and food gases. The member companies closely cooperate in safety and technical matters concerning production, transport, storage and application to achieve the highest level of safety and environmental care in the handling of gases. EIGA fully cooperates with all national and regional industrial gas associations around the world such as the Asia Industrial Gases Association, Australian and New Zealand Industrial Gases Association, Compressed Gas Association (USA), Japan Industrial Gases Association, and Southern Africa Compressed Gases Association, which are all associated members of EIGA.

Though EIGA develops their own standards, published mostly as International Gas Committee documents, position papers, and safety newsletters, they consider ASTM standards to be invaluable references for their own standards development. One active EIGA member commented, “ASTM standards are highly respected throughout Europe because they are voluntary, full-consensus standards, providing industry-wide application and a high degree of technical expertise. ASTM standards are routinely referenced in Europe because they are founded upon test data generated from ASTM test methods.”

Oxygen safety is a topic of great interest among the international community, as was reflected in the fact that the 2004 EIGA workshop was one of their most well-attended, with over 200 participants representing countries throughout all of Europe and well beyond. ASTM Committee G04 is internationally known and respected for its standards related to oxygen system safety, including system design, materials selection and test methods for compatibility, cleaning and oxygen hazards analysis. Along with their technical standards, Committee G04 has developed two ASTM Technical and Professional Training courses: Fire Hazards in Oxygen Systems (a two-day course) and Oxygen Systems Operations and Maintenance (a one-day course), both of which were offered as part of the EIGA workshop in Brussels. A total of over 100 EIGA members attended the two courses, making it one of the largest ASTM TPT courses given. Attendees for the two courses included professionals from every European country, plus Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and China.

Through the collaboration on the workshop, a new relationship was fostered between ASTM International and EIGA that shows great promise for future work together. //

—Elliot Forsyth, G04.02 Practices Subcommittee Chairman

U.S. Department of Commerce Hosts International Trade Training Course

On July 28-29, the U.S. Department of Commerce hosted a training course for 30 of its staff involved in the international trade service. The “Introduction to Standards and Conformity Assessment in Trade” was conducted for experienced mid-level commercial service officers and foreign service nationals, office of domestic operations directors and trade specialists, market access and compliance and trade development personnel with experience in identifying and resolving trade compliance, standards, and conformity assessment issues.

The course, which included presentations from representatives of standards development organizations and U.S. government agencies, provided attendees with an understanding of standards and conformity assessment and their importance to trade. The DOC’s goals in providing the course were to improve the performance of the U.S. Commercial Service by helping its staff to be more informed about standards and conformity assessment and to be able to identify standard or conformity assessment procedures that may serve as non-tariff barriers to trade.

Kitty Kono, ASTM’s vice president of global cooperation, served on a panel that discussed the role of the United States in international standards development, as well as the concept of the international standard. Her fellow speakers were Gary Kushnier, vice president, international policy, of the American National Standards Institute; Fiona Alexander, telecommunications policy specialist, of the International Telecommunications Union; and Jane Early, of the National Fisheries Institute, representing CODEX Alimentarius.

The 30 attendees included employees of the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service and Market Access and Compliance divisions working in the Pacific Rim, South America, Asia, Europe, and the United States. //

ASTM International Textile Training Course in Hong Kong

On August, Kay Villa, former member of the ASTM board of directors and current chair of ASTM Committee D13 on Textiles, conducted four D13 Technical and Professional Training courses in Hong Kong on the flammability of wearing apparel and of children’s sleepwear. The wearing apparel courses were sponsored by Kellwood Company, a top U.S. clothing manufacturer that produces over a dozen brand name clothing lines. The children’s sleepwear course was sponsored by the William Carter Co. (Carter’s), a leading children’s clothing manufacturer. Both companies sponsored the classes in order to instruct their Chinese suppliers on the requirements of the U.S. Flammable Fabrics Act. //

Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory Celebrates 75th Anniversary in 2004

The ASTM International Cement and Concrete Reference Laboratory is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2004; a luncheon will be held in recognition of this milestone on Dec. 8 during the ASTM Committee Week in Washington, D.C.

A number of organizations including ASTM International, the National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and the Portland Cement Association collaborated in the formation of CCRL as a Research Associate Program at NIST in 1929. CCRL, which is sponsored by ASTM at NIST, was established because of concern about the quality of portland cement being supplied to U.S. government projects. ASTM Committees C01 on Cement and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates provide programmatic oversight of CCRL.

CCRL currently operates three programs that promote the quality of laboratory testing of construction materials: a Laboratory Inspection Program, a Proficiency Sample Program, and a Research Program. Materials included in these programs are portland, blended, and masonry cements; portland cement concrete, pozzolans, masonry mortar, and concrete masonry units. There are more than 1,200 laboratories in the United States and 25 other countries participating in these programs at this time.

Please contact Jim Olshefsky, ASTM (phone: 610/832-9714) for more information on the December luncheon. //

—Jim Pielert, CCRL Director

On July 20, a monetary contribution for use in the Conshohocken (Pa.) Free Library’s Children’s Section was presented by John Pace, ASTM International’s vice president of publications and marketing, to Marycatherine McGarvey, library director. The funds will be used to enhance and update children’s reference materials such as CDs and science books. Computer furniture was also donated to the library by ASTM International. Since the 1995 establishment of its International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., ASTM has assisted local nonprofit organizations through financial and other means. As part of this effort, ASTM is happy to have worked with the Conshohocken Free Library frequently over the last nine years.

Copyright 2004, ASTM International