As the days of 2014 dwindle down, many Americans resolve to better themselves and make a fresh start in the new year. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the greater voluntary standards and conformity assessment community offer solutions that can give you a helpful boost in turning your 2015 goals into reality.
As ever, whittling the waist tops the list for most, with pledges to exercise more often, eat smarter, and drink more water. Staying hydrated is a big challenge, but standards from NSF International - an ANSI member and audited designator - help assure that water is safe, whether you drink from the fountain at the gym or your own kitchen faucet. For example, the American National Standard NSF/ANSI 61, Drinking Water System Components, covers all products that come into contact with drinking water from source to tap.
Come January 1, desks, closets, and junk drawers will be in disarray as many pledge to get more organized. File folders will be labeled. Boxes will be sealed with packing tape. And a standard for the adhesiveness of that tape, ASTM D3330/D3330M-04(2010), is there to make sure that the boxes stay closed. The standard was developed by ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator.
Spending less and saving more top the list for 2015. But few of us set foot in a bank these days, preferring to pay bills online, pay with cards instead of cash, and deposit checks using our smart phones. Accredited Standards Committee X9, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, is developing the technical standards for the financial industry that make these transactions possible. The American National Standard ANSI X9.100-187-2013, Electronic Exchange of Check and Image Data, makes it possible for financial institutions to exchange check images, helping deposits to hit your account more efficiently.
While smoking has grown less prevalent in recent years, quitting is on the resolution list for many current smokers (18.1% of adults in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). As more and more Americans quit smoking, we've seen vehicle cigarette lighters transition into power sources for smart phones and other portable electronics. SAE J 563-2009, Standard for 12 Volt Cigarette Lighters, Power Outlets, and Accessory Plugs, was developed by SAE International, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, to cover all uses for this vehicle accessory. UL 2089 (Ed. 2), a standard from ANSI member and audited designator Underwriters Laboratories (UL), focuses on the cord assemblies, connectors, and circuitry for portable electronics that can plug into a vehicle's cigarette lighter.
As the ball drops this New Year's Eve, don't forget to raise a glass to standards and conformance - working behind the scenes to keep you safe and help you make your resolutions a reality.
Happy New Year!