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Spooky but Safe: Standards Protect Trick-or-Treaters This Halloween

New York, Oct 21, 2009

Children from coast to coast will dress up as ghouls, goblins, and ghosts – and princesses – this October 31 to make the annual trick-or-treating expedition. While the youngsters get into the Halloween spirit, they’ll be safe thanks to national and international standards.

Nothing signifies Halloween more than costumes. Whether in a simple mask or an elaborate head-to-toe disguise, children and adults delight in taking on a new identity for one day a year. Standards help to assure that these costumes are as safe as they are entertaining. ISO 8124-2:2007, Safety of toys - Part 2: Flammability, provides guidelines for many elements found in costumes, including toy beards, moustaches, wigs, masks, and other disguises.

ISO 8124-2:2007 was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 181, Safety of Toys. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited U.S. TAG Administrator to this TC is the Toy Industry Association (TIA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

Younger children generally go trick-or-treating in the afternoon, but older children may prefer to collect their candy in the spooky darkness of the evening. A powerful flashlight can illuminate their route and make them more visible to passing cars.

Many elements of a typical flashlight, including the light bulb, have been developed with the help of standards, IESNA LM-49-01, Life Testing of General Lighting Incandescent Filament Lamps was created by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, to describe the procedures by which incandescent lamps can be operated. This important standard guides the life expectancy of a light bulb, assuring that it will stay bright during the Halloween fun.

Beyond flashlights, reflective materials can be affixed to costumes to increase conspicuity. ASTM E1501-99(2004), Standard Specification for Nighttime Photometric Performance of Retroreflective Pedestrian Markings for Visibility Enhancement, a standard that guides these reflective materials, was developed by ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator.

With the help of standards, trick-or-treaters young and old will stay safe during the witching hour and beyond this Halloween.

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