ANSI - American National Standards Institute
 Print this article  Previous Next 

Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Dental Fillings to Marine Gears

New York, Oct 20, 2006

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, ANSI Online will publish, on an ongoing basis, a series of snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow:

Dental Fillings
Recent years have seen a swell in public concern over the effects of mercury in the environment. Although the element occurs naturally, approximately half of the mercury released into the environment stems from human activity. Because the element has a bioaccumulative effect, it can build to harmful levels in fish and the people and animals that consume them, causing impaired development and behavior, reduced fertility, and other serious health problems.

With an eye toward improving environmental responsibility, the American Dental Association (ADA), an ANSI-accredited standards developer, has released a standard that aims to prevent the improper disposal of dental amalgam, an alloy of mercury and other metals used to fill cavities.

Amalgam can be safely recycled in a way that extracts the mercury for reuse in new products. The ADA Standards Committee on Dental Products published ANSI/ADA 109-2006, Procedures for Storing Dental Amalgam Waste and Requirements for Amalgam Waste Storage/Shipment, as a guide for dental offices to properly collect, store and prepare amalgam waste for delivery to recyclers. ANSI/ADA 109 requires the use of specific labeled storage and shipping containers that meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation and provides a list of suggested questions to ask amalgam waste recyclers when evaluating their services.

Marine Gears
From tooth gearing to industrial gear transmissions, ANSI-accredited standards developer the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA), writes standards that keep the gears of many industries turning. Most recently, the association published an American National Standard for use by the marine industry.

ANSI/AGMA 6032-A94, Standard for Marine Gear Units: Rating, specifies rating requirements for marine main propulsion, power take-off and auxiliary propulsion service gears. Specifically, the standard addresses clutches, bearings, lubricating oil systems and shafts, in addition to certain aspects of vibration. ANSI/AGMA 6032-A94 also details allowable bending and contact stress levels for materials.

AGMA’s twenty-five technical committees address nearly all areas critical to the design, manufacture, application and operation of gears. The association also serves as a source of information relating to U.S. positions on ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards in the field of gearing.

This "standards snapshot" was made possible by the steady stream of press information disseminated by standards developing organizations to keep the ANSI Federation abreast of their achievements. As the Institute receives news of published voluntary standards and voluntary standards initiatives with broad appeal and impact, similar articles will be posted to the ANSI Online News page. Please continue to forward your updates to the Communications and Public Relations department at (f) 212.398.0023 or (e) For additional information on the wide array of standards applications, see the Media Tips and Case Studies section of the Institute's website.