ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: From Dietary Supplements to Facial Implants


New York, Oct 24, 2002

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. Two of the latest selections follow:

Dietary Supplements

Cat's claw, dandelion root, blessed thistle. These eccentric concoctions claim to relieve pain, "energize" the mind and "detoxify" the body, but what are these miracle potions? Vitamins, minerals, and herbal remedies in varying doses, better known as dietary supplements, have become some of the hottest selling items in today's health and fitness market. More than half of the U.S. adult population admits to supporting this trend, spending nearly $12 billion on dietary supplements every year.

In response to an increase in awareness of potential hazards of supplements, NSF International, an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, has recently announced the development of a draft standard BSR/NSF 173-200x, Dietary Supplements. The new standard will provide test methods and evaluation criteria to determine that a supplement contains the actual ingredients and amounts listed on its label, and does not contain unwanted contaminants. The standard is currently under public review and comment. Although dietary supplements can't replace the hundreds of nutrients in whole foods one needs for a nutritionally balanced diet, this new standard aims to ensure that supplements are safe in their intended usage.

Facial Implants

Many daily rituals begin with an appraisal in front of the bathroom mirror, followed by common routines to improve the appearance of our features through hygiene and beauty efforts. Yet some individuals chase enhancement of their facial appearance through far more dramatic processes, including facial implants and other forms of cosmetic surgery. (In some infrequent cases, facial implants are used in post-trauma reconstructive surgery, though grafted bone from other parts of the body are more commonly used in these procedures.) Since 1992, the number of cosmetic procedures has increased by over 200%, with nearly 9,000,000 operations last year alone. Costs for these surgical procedures range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands. There can be severe risks inherent in surgery, and it is crucial to know that everything going into your body is safe.

ASTM International, an ANSI member and ANSI-accredited standards developer, has created ASTM F881-94 (2000), Standard Specification for Silicone Elastomer Facial Implants to cover requirements for silicone implants used in cosmetic facial surgery, including chin, nasal, cheekbone, and ear implants, but not any implant containing silicone gels. In the quest for a personal standard of beauty, this standard makes sure that in the end the patient will come out looking good and feeling good.

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) pr@ansi.org. 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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