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ANSI Seeks Comments on Proposed Consumer Product Safety Guidance Standard

New York, Mar 16, 2007

The International Organization for Standardization Committee on Consumer Policy (ISO /COPOLCO) has submitted a proposal for a new standard on the subject of consumer product safety.

According to the proposal, existing national regulations and standards governing consumer product safety may not provide adequate consumer protection; often, they specify only a minimum set of requirements to address known products and associated hazards. There is thus a need, COPOLCO affirms, for an International Standard that would establish universally applicable guidance for safety across all consumer product types.

The new work item would provide practical guidance to all parties in the supply chain on how to carry out a systematic safety analysis of a product through its entire lifecycle—from design and manufacture through end-use and disposal. Placing greater emphasis on safety at the design stage and on controlling manufacturing and distribution processes would result in fewer consumer injuries and legal issues with dissatisfied customers and enforcement authorities, the proposal states.

Specifically, the document would seek to:

  • identify the information and data that needs to be considered to identify potential risks

  • outline steps to follow when assessing risks and associated hazards, including evaluating the probability, severity and consequences of exposure

  • define means of determining, documenting and implementing the best approach to negating or limiting harm

The standard would also provide guidance on implementing relevant safety standards, including ISO/IEC Guide 37:1995, Instructions for use of products of consumer interest, and ISO/IEC Guide 51, Safety aspects -- Guidelines for their inclusion in standards.

As the official U.S. member of the ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is seeking comments on the ISO/COPOLCO proposal. All input received will be compiled and considered to form a recommended ANSI position to ISO.

Interested stakeholders are invited to submit comments to Steven Cornish, ANSI director of international policy (, by Friday, May 4, 2007.

ANSI Nanotechnology Standards Panel