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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: From Livestock Production Practices to Material Safety Data Sheets

New York, Oct 20, 2005

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:

Livestock Production Practices
In order to address environmental challenges facing the livestock industry, ANSI accredited standards developer the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) developed standards that American livestock producers can use to evaluate their environmental management practices. In this case, the term “livestock” includes all commercial forms of meat and egg production. The Good Environmental Livestock Production Practices (GELPP) outline a series of standards that address the five fundamental concentrated livestock production risk areas: 1) General Site Conditions, 2) Production Areas, 3) Outdoor Manure and Storm Water Storage, 4) Manure Utilization, and 5) Mortality Management.

The GELPPs provide aid to the confined livestock production industry by presenting essential environmental management and protection practices in a voluntary standard format. These American National Standards also provide confined livestock producers the opportunity to obtain independent certification of their environmental stewardship. The GELPPs are applicable to any livestock operation that plans to: minimize its potential to generate negative environmental impacts; demonstrate good environmental stewardship; and improve relationships with all parties directly or indirectly affected by the operation.

Material Safety Data Sheets
The purpose of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is to inform industrial purchasers and users of hazardous chemicals of physical and chemical hazards that may arise from the use of those chemicals. An MSDS contains basic information needed to insure the safety and health of the user at all stages of its manufacture, storage, use, and disposal. Information on an MSDS might include physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures. MSDSs have been used by chemists in some form for hundreds of years, and some historians would argue that the practice of exchanging information on the hazards of use of a particular material goes back millennia.

Today, the use and distribution of an MSDS is also governed by various federal regulations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) "Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986," and "Toxic Chemical Release Reporting: Community Right-To-Know" law both address MSDSs for chemicals. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for the Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200, which ensures that “the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are evaluated, and that information concerning their hazards is transmitted to employers and employees. This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include container labeling and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets and employee training.” The Hazard Communication Standard specifies the required elements that must be on an MSDS among other important data.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) is the ANSI accredited standards developer that is responsible for maintaining the American National Standard ANSI Z400.1-2004, Hazardous Industrial Chemicals - Material Safety Data Sheets – Preparation. This standard applies to the preparation of MSDSs for chemicals and materials used under occupational conditions. It presents basic information on how to develop and write MSDSs that are complete, clear and consistent. It also identifies information that must be included to comply with the HCS. Additional information is provided to help comply with state and federal environmental and safety laws and regulations.

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.

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