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September/October 2010

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ASTM Crib Safety Standards Approved for Inclusion in U.S. CPSC Ruling

Revised Versions of F406 and F1169 Will Satisfy Requirements of Consumer Product Safey Improvement Act

In July, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission proposed by unanimous vote that two ASTM International standards covering full-size and non-full-size cribs be incorporated as part of the regulatory requirements of Section 104 of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This vote successfully culminates an effort by numerous ASTM stakeholders to apply the dynamic nature of the voluntary standards development process to address regulatory needs and improve the safety of sleeping environments for our most precious and vulnerable citizens.

While commenting on the agency’s July 14 approval of a notice of proposed rulemaking that aims to strengthen the federal crib standards for the first time in nearly 30 years, CPSC Chairman Inez M. Tenenbaum thanked CPSC staff, ASTM International, consumer groups, the industry and juvenile product experts for their outstanding work and collaboration in coming up with new voluntary standards. These consensus standards, approved by ASTM on June 1, represent significant improvements to the predecessor crib standards. Chairman Tenenbaum stated that the new voluntary standards include numerous safety requirements recommended by CPSC as well as elements from Canadian legislation (SOR/86-962, Cribs and Cradles Regulations) and a European standard (EN 716, Furniture; Children’s Cots and Folding Cots for Domestic Use; Safety Requirements).

“I look forward to ASTM’s continued dedication and cooperation with us as we move forward to develop future durable nursery product standards,” says Tenenbaum.

The standards, ASTM F1169, Consumer Safety Specification for Full-Size Baby Cribs, and ASTM F406, Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Full-Size Baby Cribs/Play Yards, are under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee F15.18 on Cribs, Toddler Beds, Play Yards, Bassinets, Cradles and Changing Tables. F15.18 is part of ASTM International Committee F15 on Consumer Products.

In late 2009, Tenenbaum contacted ASTM International to enlist industry’s help with the CPSC initiative to have a new mandatory regulation covering full-size and non-full-size cribs in place by the end of 2010. This initiative required that Subcommittee F15.18 evaluate the existing outdated federal regulations covering these product categories as found in 16 CFR 15081 and 1509; work with CPSC staff to evaluate data, hazard patterns and recent recalls to identify gaps or potential safety hazards not covered in the existing federal standards or voluntary standards; and develop new testing protocols and conduct lab tests to validate approaches. To meet the CPSC imposed timeline, it was required that the new language revising ASTM F1169 and ASTM F406 incorporate the relevant portions of the existing federal regulations and the newly developed protocols be developed, balloted and approved through the ASTM process by June 1.

Building on the recently published 2009 version of F1169 that was revised to eliminate traditional drop-side cribs and strengthen slat integrity, which are elements included in this proposed mandatory regulation, Subcommittee F15.18 developed new testing or strengthened existing testing protocols in the following areas:

  • A revision to ASTM F1169 that incorporates the existing applicable requirements for full-size cribs from 16 CFR 1508, including general requirements, test methods and revisions to labeling;
  • The addition of language to address entrapment in products attached to full-size cribs;
  • The addition of general requirements that are currently included in other juvenile product standards but not in ASTM F1169;
  • The addition of applicable requirements for mattress support systems;
  • Changes to the crib side configuration; and
  • Revision to the vertical mattress impact test.

Likewise, F15.18 undertook the task to approve revisions to ASTM F406 for non-full-size cribs. The revisions eliminate drop-side cribs, add requirements from 16 CFR 1509, add new warnings to address items added to the top of play yards, and include new requirements from the current version of ASTM F1169 that address movable sides.

  • Lastly, both standards were revised with the following improvements:
  • Revision to the slat integrity requirements;
  • The addition of language to ASTM F1169 and ASTM F406 to address misassembly issues; and
  • The addition of language to address non-drop-side hardware/wood screws for ASTM F1169 and ASTM F406.

“The volunteer members of ASTM Subcommittee F15.18 (consisting of diverse stakeholders such as manufacturers, test labs, retailers, consumer representatives and regulatory authorities), with the strong support of and close collaboration with CPSC technical staff, representatives of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, Health Canada and consumer organizations like Consumers Union, Kids in Danger and the Consumer Federation of America, dedicated an incredible amount of time and resources to accelerate the standards development process to meet this deadline,” remarks Michael Dwyer, CAE, executive director, JPMA. “In particular, the manufacturing community has dedicated tremendous financial and technical resources to ensure the successful creation of this revised standard.”

“The strengthening of the crib standard is a good example of how industry, consumer groups, government agencies and testing labs can work together in a consensus-building process to address serious safety hazards that imperil children,” says Donald Mays, senior director, product safety/technical policy, Consumers Union.

1. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Commercial Practices, 1508, Requirements for Full-Size Baby Cribs, and 1509, Requirements for Non-Full-Size Baby Cribs.

Committee F42 meets at Loughborough University, UKMore than 80 participants from 10 countries attended the July 8-9 meetings of ASTM International Committee F42 on Additive Manufacturing Technologies at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, United Kingdom. The committee, working closely with the organizers of the International Conference on Additive Manufacturing, held a series of task group, subcommittee and main committee meetings over the two-day period. Given the success of this inaugural committee meeting at a non-U.S. venue, F42 and Loughborough University have extended their relationship and plan to hold future F42 summer meetings in conjunction with the ICAM event.

Chinese delegation visits F08 meetingsA delegation from the Sports Equipment Administrative Center of the China General Administration of Sport visited the meetings of ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities in May. The delegation also met with staff at ASTM headquarters during their visit. Shown (left to right): Roger Stoller, chairman of the board, ASTM; Yong Zhongjun; Li Hang; James Thomas, president, ASTM; Harv Voris, chairman, Committee F08; and Hou Li Bo.

June Meeting Focuses on D22, E06 Standards Use

On June 8, ASTM International’s Washington, D.C., office hosted a five-member delegation from the Center of Radiation Environmental Safety, Henan, China. The discussion focused on China’s use of ASTM radon standards developed by Committees D22 on Air Quality and E06 on Performance of Buildings. The delegation also expressed an interest in learning more about ASTM’s work in the areas of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds.

ASTM Participates in Environmental Protection Conference in China

ASTM Shares Sponsorship of Event with All-China Environment Federation

In cooperation with the Technology and Standard of Environmental Protection Research Professional Committee of the All-China Environment Federation (TSEPRPC of ACEF), a Chinese civil society organization in the environmental field, ASTM International participated in the 2010 International Conference on Environmental Protection Technology and Standards. The TSEPRPC members work as a bridge between scientific organizations and enterprises on behalf of the Chinese government. The members do so with the belief that integration of resources and technological innovation will promote progress and development of environmental protection and sustainable development in China.

Directed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China, the conference was conducted in two locations, Hangzhou (May 23-24) and Beijing (May 25). The conference was hosted by TSEPRPC of ACEF, ASTM International, the Technical Committee on Environmental Protection Products and the Machinery Industry Environmental Standardization Technical Committee, and organized by several universities and enterprises.

The conference program consisted of plenary sessions on standardization in general, environmental standards and the use of standards in regulation. Technical sessions addressed several topics, including analysis and treatment of water and water pollution prevention; the treatment of solid wastes and use of solid wastes for energy generation; air pollution prevention, including emissions control; renewable energy options; and sustainable construction, including building design and water conservation.

Four ASTM International members participated in the conference along with Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM vice president of global cooperation, who provided an overview of ASTM International, its work in China and its standards development in the areas of environmental protection and sustainability.

Representing ASTM were:

  • Mary McKiel, Ph.D., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who presented information about the use of private sector voluntary standards in regulation;
  • William Lipps, OI Analytical, who spoke about water analysis and international standards;
  • Rick Layton, Haines, Jones and Cadbury, who addressed sustainability of water technology and standards; and
  • Bruce King, Ecological Building Network, who presented information on technology and standards for better building.

U.S. Health and Human Services Adopts ASTM Continuity of Care Record Standard

ASTM E2369 Provides Means for Healthcare Workers to Collect and Transfer Patient Data

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has included an ASTM International standard as part of its formal certification criteria for electronic health record technologies. The standard, ASTM E2369, Specification for Continuity of Care Record, was developed by Subcommittee E31.25 on Healthcare Data Management, Security, Confidentiality and Privacy, part of ASTM International Committee E31 on Healthcare Informatics.

ASTM E2369 outlines a way to create flexible XML (extensible markup language) documents that contain the most relevant and timely healthcare information about a patient and to send these records electronically from one caregiver to another and to patients with the intention of of creating better coordination and quality of care. The CCR is a core data set of the most relevant administrative, demographic and clinical facts about a patient’s healthcare. The CCR data set includes information about health status as well as details concerning insurance, advance directives, care documentation and the patient’s care plan.

“In its response to comments in the final rule, the ONC made clear that the industry values the ASTM CCR standard because it is perceived as easy to use and easy to implement, that there is widespread industry adoption of the CCR and that some healthcare providers prefer the CCR standard over derivative, similar standards,” says David C. Kibbe, M.D., principal, The Kibbe Group LLC, and chairman, E31. “As physicians increase their ‘meaningful use of certified EHR technology,’ I am confident that the CCR’s usage will increase, particularly as a means of providing patients with their clinical summaries and for machine-to-machine exchange of quality measures for healthcare improvement.”

The nation’s healthcare system is undergoing a transformation in an effort to improve quality, safety and efficiency of care related to information exchanges through EHR technology. To help facilitate this vision, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the HITECH Act, established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued its final rule to complete the adoption of an initial set of standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria, and to more closely align these elements with final meaningful use stage 1 objectives and measures. ASTM E2369 is referenced as part of the patient summary certification criteria that can be used to help meet the requirements for achieving meaningful use stage 1.

Chinese delegation learns about environmental standardsOn August 9, a delegation from the All-China Environment Federation visited ASTM International headquarters to learn about ASTM’s standards related to environmental protection and to discuss further collaboration.

Chinese delegation discusses standards developmentOn July 1, Feng Xiaochun (fifth from right), vice mayor of Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province, China, led a delegation of manufacturing representatives to ASTM International headquarters to discuss the ASTM standards development process and sustainability issues.

WISE Intern’s Paper Published

Hattie Larson, a chemical engineering major at Florida State University, was sponsored by ASTM International this summer in the 2010 Washington Internships for Students of Engineering program. As part of the program, Larson wrote a paper, “Responding to Oil Spill Disasters and the Regulations that Govern Their Response.”

The WISE program gives eligible engineering students an opportunity for a paid summer internship in Washington, D.C. During the program, interns learn how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative and regulatory public policy.

For additional information on ASTM’s academic outreach activities, contact James Olshefsky, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9714).

Chairman of ASTM Amusement Rides Committee Speaks at 2010 Asian Attractions Expo

Global Availability of F24 Safety Standards Highlighted

James Seay, chairman of ASTM International Committee F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices, and president of Premier Rides, Baltimore, Md., delivered the opening educational session at the 2010 International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ Asian Attractions Expo held July 13-16 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center in Malaysia.

Seay’s presentation was part of an all-day IAAPA Safety Institute that brought experienced professionals from around the world to various global locations to deliver a concentrated program on many aspects of safety in the amusement industry.

Seay focused on a number of topics, including new F24 standards issued over the past year, the success of the new F24 global harmonization subcommittee that passed a Canada-specific standard, and the continued achievement of the global adoption of F24 standards to enhance safety in the amusement attractions business.

Regarding the standing room only audience, Seay commented, “I was extremely impressed with the passion and interest displayed by the attendees. The Asian market is the most dynamic in the world right now, experiencing tremendous expansion, and it is clear there is a strong desire to both be informed about safety standards and to understand the procedures of incorporating such standards into both the regulatory process and the parks’ internal operating procedures.”

With respect to new F24 standards, Seay discussed the yearlong efforts of F24’s approximately 500 participants who volunteer their time both in person and online using ASTM’s always available standards development tools. Specific accomplishments include the approval of F2375, Practice for Design, Manufacture, Installation and Testing of Climbing Nets and Netting/Mesh Used in Amusement Rides, Devices, Play Areas and Attractions, and F2461, Practice for Manufacture, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Aquatic Play Equipment. Additionally, Seay described a significant update of existing G-force standards based on a collaborative effort with IAAPA’s European members.

Seay reviewed the global harmonization subcommittee’s work, which successfully established a stand-alone Canadian standard that allows Canadians to adopt F24 in their regulatory language while still having a specific standard for issues particular to Canada such as electrical codes. Seay remarked, “With ASTM F24 standards meeting the WTO [World Trade Organization] guidelines that define international standards acceptable for global use, the Canadian model is one that any country in the world can use to expeditiously include F24 in their code. Additionally, the very low cost of entry, virtually no cost for developing nations, makes the model very appealing.”

After the presentation, Seay met with a number of representatives of Asian countries who displayed interest in F24’s work. The harmonization subcommittee will establish task groups assigned to each country wishing to adopt F24 standards to ensure that the process is handled professionally and expeditiously.

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