ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Steam Sterilization to Environmental Sound

New York, Feb 24, 2009

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 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:

Steam Sterilization
Saturated steam under pressure has been used to sterilize medical devices for a very long time, but this can hardly be considered a simple process. In fact, the effectiveness of a sterilization process depends on a number of variables.

An American National Standard developed by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI), ANSI/AAMI ST79:2006/A1:2008, Comprehensive guide to steam sterilization and sterility assurance in health care facilities, identifies at least four phases that are necessary to produce and maintain a sterile product.

In particular, effective sterilization requires a consistent system for lowering and limiting the microbial levels; proper preparation of the items for sterilization; the selection of accurate sterilization parameters; and the implementation of controls to maintain the sterilized items until their use.

In addition, ANSI/AAMI ST79:2006/A1:2008 specifies that the delivery of sterile health care products also depends on the following factors:

  • efficient facility design;
  • proper training of personnel;
  • good infection prevention and control practices;
  • effective quality control and process improvement systems; and
  • appropriate documentation and reporting practices.

An ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, AAMI is an alliance of nearly 6,000 members from around the world united by the common goal of increasing the understanding and beneficial use of medical instrumentation.

Environmental Sound
For those who are not sound sleepers, even a bit of outside noise can interrupt a good night's sleep, but a jet aircraft taking off or a train passing by at nighttime will disturb the majority of people living nearby.

To provide guidance for mass transit operators who develop noise compatibility programs and related noise abatement measures, the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) has published ANSI/ASA S12.9-2008/Part 6, Quantities and Procedures for Description and Measurement of Environmental Sound - Part 6: Methods for Estimating of Awakenings Associated with Outdoor Noise Events Heard in Homes.

Developed from field studies of behavioral awakening in homes near areas of routine jet aircraft takeoff and landing operations, railroads, roads, and highways, the standard offers a method to predict sleep disturbance in terms of numbers of people awakened associated with noise levels. The database used in derivation of the method consists of about 10,000 subject-nights of observations in a variety of communities in the U.S. and The Netherlands.

An ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, ASA is a voluntary organization serving the acoustics community in all branches of acoustics, both theoretical and applied.