ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Lasers for Eye Surgery to School Bus Seat Flammability Testing

New York, May 23, 2013

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

Lasers for Eye Surgery
Reshaping the curvature of the cornea through the use of a laser, a process known as refractive eye surgery, can reduce or cure common vision disorders such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Since its introduction in 1992, LASIK (laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis) surgery, which uses an excimer laser, has become a common choice for patients seeking a permanent alternative to eyeglasses or contact lenses. Today, with advancements in laser technology, patients have increased options to meet their visual acuity needs.

To protect patients and aid surgeons performing refractive eye surgery The Vision Council, an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, recently published ANSI Z80.11-2012, Ophthalmics - Laser Systems for Corneal Reshaping. This American National Standard (ANS) applies to any laser system whose primary intended use is to alter the shape of the cornea through the removal of corneal tissue, resulting in the improvement of visual performance. ANSI Z80.11-2012 addresses the vocabulary, performance requirements, labeling, and clinical investigations necessary for this type of device.

Dedicated to enhancing life through better vision, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry through advocacy and the promotion of quality vision care products and services in the global community. This non-profit membership organization offers research and training to the industry, and serves as a liaison with consumers, providing education about the importance of vision care and the options in vision care products.

School Bus Seat Flammability Testing
In the United States, over 480,000 school buses transport 26 million children to and from school and school-related activities every day – that’s an estimated 10 billion school bus trips every year. To ensure the safety of students and drivers, school buses have many regulations including the bright yellow color, warning lights, stop signal arm, emergency exits, reflective markings, and fire resistant seats. In an effort to aid manufactures in developing seat assembly products that will not easily ignite, ASTM International recently released ASTM E2574/E2574M-12a, Standard Test Method for Fire Testing of School Bus Seat Assemblies.

This ANS is a method for determining fire-test-response characteristics of a school bus seat assembly following ignition by a square gas burner, and is primarily useful to distinguish products that, when exposed to these fire conditions, will become fully involved in fire from other products that will not. Seat assemblies that exhibit little or no flame spread, short times to flame extinction, and little mass loss in this test are likely to exhibit improved performance in an actual fire situation, compared to seat assemblies that burn vigorously and have high mass loss.

ASTM E2574/E2574M-12a is used to measure and describe the response of materials, products, or assemblies to heat and flame under controlled conditions, but does not by itself incorporate all factors required for fire hazard or fire risk assessment of the materials, products, or assemblies under actual fire conditions. This test method does not provide information on the fire performance of upholstered seating in fire conditions other than those conditions specified, nor does it purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use.

ASTM International, ANSI organizational member and audited designator, seeks to develop voluntary consensus standards to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

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