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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum:

From Water Treatment to Alternative Fuels

New York, Jun 21, 2002

Like the steady pulse of a heartbeat that performs an invaluable task for the human body involuntarily, voluntary standards secure the reliable function of the home and workplace without the average citizen's awareness.

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, ANSI Online News 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. Here are two of the latest selections:

Water Treatment

Effective water treatment is vital to the health of a community. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, helps to ensure a clean water supply through the standardization of water treatment systems. The organization recently released several new standards to that effect, including NSF/ANSI 55-2002, Ultraviolet microbiological water treatment systems, which stands out as addressing a relatively new method of disinfecting water. UV treatment, which utilizes ultraviolet light at a wavelength of about 253.7 nanometers (a "germicidal" wavelength) to alter the DNA of bacteria, viruses, molds, algae and other microorganisms so that they cannot reproduce (and therefore cannot cause infection), has a lower operating cost and is more environmentally sound than other disinfections processes. The NSF/ANSI standard provides minimum requirements for the reduction of microorganisms using UV radiation and also specifies the minimum product literature, labeling information and product service that a manufacturer must supply to authorized representatives and system owners.

Other recently released NSF standards that address water treatment include NSF/ANSI 53-2002, Drinking water treatment units-Health effects; NSF/ANSI 42-2002, Drinking water treatment units-Aesthetic effects; NSF/ANSI 46-2002, Evaluation of components and devices used in wastewater treatment systems; and NSF/ANSI 58-2002, Reverse osmosis drinking water treatment systems.

Alternative Fuels

Concern about the environment and the United States' dependence on foreign oil is slowly but surely leading to a revolution in the way America powers its motor vehicles, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, is part of that revolution. Hydrogen, methanol, biodiesel and solar energy are just a few of the alternative fuels that are being explored for use in cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles. One of the most widely available options today is a natural gas-powered vehicle. As part of the transition to alternative fuel vehicles (AFV), SAE has released the standard Recommended Practices for CNG Powered Medium and Heavy-Duty Trucks (J2406). This SAE Recommended Practice provides guidance for the construction, operation and maintenance of compressed natural gas (CNG) powered medium- and large-size trucks.

Natural gas is environmentally sound and very efficient; CNG vehicles emit 85% less nitrogen oxide, 74% less carbon monoxide and 70% fewer reactive hydrocarbons than gasoline-powered vehicles. Prices for CNG are between 70 and 99 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent. CNG vehicles, which are currently manufactured by Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and Honda, have been put to use across the U.S. as school and city buses, airport shuttles, taxis and family vehicles, among other things. Organizations currently using CNG trucks for delivery include the United States Postal Service and the United Parcel Service (UPS). State and local governments, private companies and national parks also use CNG trucks as maintenance vehicles and carriers.

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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