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New Proposal in ISO for Explosive Atmospheres


New York, Aug 04, 2005

The German Institute for Standardization (DIN) has recently submitted a proposal to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for a new field of ISO activity on the subject of potentially explosive atmospheres.

An explosive atmosphere could be present in a variety of different places where flammable substances are used, including paint spray booths, near fuel tanks, in sumps, or many places where aerosols, vapors, mists, gases, or dusts exist. Electrical and non-electrical equipment and installations in potentially explosive atmospheres must be specially designed and constructed so that the risks of ignition are eliminated or reduced.

As suggested in the DIN proposal, there is an urgent need to harmonize existing national and regional standards about non-electrical aspects of explosion protection at the international level. The development of International Standards that specify the design, performance requirements and testing of equipment and protective systems will answer this need, and remove barriers to trade that currently exist due to different safety requirements in different countries.

The scope of activity as defined in the DIN proposal is standardization in the field of explosion prevention and protection, and the drawing up of standards relating to test methods for determining the flammability characteristics of substances, for equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, equipment and systems for explosion prevention and protection, and terminology and methodology in the field of potentially explosive atmospheres. The scope excludes standardization of electrical apparatus for explosive atmospheres, which is dealt with by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee 31.

As the U.S. member body to ISO, ANSI is inviting member comments on this proposal. Specifically, members are asked to consider the following when submitting their comments:

  • should ANSI support this proposal
  • should the U.S. actively participate if this proposal is approved
  • are there existing and relevant U.S. standardization efforts
  • are there relations between this proposed ISO standardization and U.S. legislation/regulation
  • if the member’s organization would like to serve as a U.S./TAG administrator should this proposal be approved

Comments may be submitted to Steven Cornish, ANSI international policy director, at scornish@ansi.org by close of business on Thursday, September 1. All input received will be compiled and considered to form a recommended ANSI position to ISO.

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