ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Standards Spiff Up the Place during Spring Cleaning

New York, Apr 03, 2013

After months of snow and sleet and chilly air, warmer spring weather is finally just around the corner, bringing with it blooming flowers, short-sleeved shirts, and the reopening of sidewalk cafes. And for many Americans, these signs of spring signal that it’s time to begin their annual bout of spring cleaning. Whether you’re sweeping up a long-neglected garage, or washing summer clothes that you meant to get to before the holidays, voluntary consensus standards help provide rules and guidance that make cleaning safe and effective.

During the colder winter months, it can be easy to put off cleaning floors, rugs, and carpets, in part because the lower temperatures can make opening windows and doors to air out a residence very unpleasant. Thankfully, voluntary consensus standards have been developed to make it easier to choose effective cleaning tools for this purpose. A standard from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), IEC 60335-2-2 Amd.1 Ed. 6.0 b:2012, Amendment 1 - Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-2: Particular requirements for vacuum cleaners and water-suction cleaning appliances, sets down guidelines for vacuums and cleaning apparatuses that make use of water-suction to clean surfaces. The standard was developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. The Secretariat of IEC TC 61 is held by the U.S. and Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), an ANSI member and audited designator, serves as the delegated secretary and associated U.S. National Committee (USNC)-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator. Another standard, ASTM F2367-04a(2010), Standard Specification for Labeling for Upright Brooms for Consumer and Institutional Use, provides uniform labeling criteria and package requirements for upright brooms, including inch-pound unit values. The standard, which applies to brooms for consumer and institutional use, was developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International.

Shifting winter clothes into storage and bringing out spring and summer apparel is a common part of spring cleaning for many people. While well-organized individuals make sure to clean and dry their seasonal clothes before packing them away, some people will find that they need to launder their spring outfits and footwear before they can be worn. A standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets down test methods for evaluating the washability of shoes in a standard home washing machine, providing insight for what to expect when washing your footwear at home. ISO 19954:2003, Footwear -- Test methods for whole shoe -- Washability in a domestic washing machine, was developed by ISO TC 216, Footwear; ASTM International currently serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. TAG administrator for ISO TC 216.

For many Americans, spring cleaning isn’t complete until their lawn is as tidy as their home. If that describes you, an American National Standard (ANS) developed by ANSI-accredited standards developer and organizational member the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute has you covered: ANSI B71.1-2012, Consumer Turf Care Equipment - Pedestrian-Controlled Mowers and Ride-On Mowers - Safety Specifications, provides safety specifications for a variety of grass-cutting devices, including ride-on mowers, garden tractors with mower attachments, and pedestrian-controlled lawn mowers. The standard is aimed at domestic use by consumers and is intended to help operators maintain uniform operator environments.

Thanks to standards, carrying out your annual spring cleaning can be safe, easy, and effective, giving you more time to enjoy the warm weather and excitement of spring.

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