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Global Standards Organization ASTM International to Create First Canadian Standard and Host Three Conferences in Toronto


Today, one of the world’s largest standards organizations, ASTM International, announced that it will develop its first official Canadian standard, focused on hoverboard safety. The organization also announced three week-long conferences in Toronto this April, May, and June that will attract thousands of engineers and technical experts worldwide from dozens of industries.

“Canadian industry, government, and consumers are getting a clear signal that ASTM International welcomes them into its standards-development process,” said Diane Thompson, director of ASTM International’s office in Ottawa. “Our first official Canadian standard – in hoverboard safety – could directly help many Canadians and people worldwide.”

ASTM International serves as one of only eight standards development organizations accredited by the Standards Council of Canada. ASTM International is moving forward after posting its “notice of intent” to pursue the hoverboard standard which will cover areas such as age, speed, labeling, and more. Both organizations encourage Canadian stakeholders to get involved.

“Already, more than 90 percent of our committees have Canadian members, and Canadian federal regulations refer to our standards nearly 200 times,” said ASTM International’s Len Morrissey, who serves as vice chair of the SCC’s Standards Development Organizations Advisory Committee (SDOAC). “Clearly, we will build on that this year.”

Discussions surrounding consumer products and many other sectors will be held during the three Toronto “Committee Week” events April 2-7, May 7-12, and June 11-16. Attendees from around the world will meet at the Sheraton Centre Toronto hotel to draft and update many of ASTM International’s 12,000 standards.

High-profile events surrounding the meetings include:
•    ASTM International’s annual business meeting May 10 with board chairman Tom Marsh and new president Kathie Morgan;
•    a joint workshop April 5 with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) on degradability, biodegradability, and biobased products;
•    additional workshops and symposia related to disclosing environmental liabilities, copper regulations, checkpoint screening equipment, sensory evaluation (all in April) with more in May and June;
•    the “Slips, Trips, and Falls International Conference” June 15-16, which will highlight safety standards for footwear and flooring (hosted by the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute); and,
•    discussions surrounding ASTM International’s Interlaboratory Study (ILS) and Proficiency Testing (PTP) programs.

Canadian members and customers of ASTM International have traditionally come from industries such as consumer products, roads and paving, sustainability, construction, petroleum, and textiles. Looking forward, Morrissey says, the organization seeks more Canadian engagement from emerging fields such as cannabis, nanotechnology, medical devices, additive manufacturing, and commercial spaceflight.

Also this year, ASTM International is sponsoring a first-of-its-kind joint meeting of standards leaders from the Americas and the Asia-Pacific. The Pan American Standards Commission (COPANT) and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC) will convene in Vancouver April 30 through May 5 under the theme of “Regional Collaboration in a Global Environment.”  Many of ASTM International’s 101 Memorandum-of-Understanding partners will attend.

The demand for ASTM International products in Canada rose by double-digit percentages each of the last two years, driven by growing use of its main subscription platform (Compass) by companies, laboratories, universities, and other customers.

Staff Contact: Len Morrissey, tel +1.610.832.9719; or Diane Thompson,
Media Inquiries: Dan Bergels, tel +1.610.832.9602;

Release #10271

March 6, 2017

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