ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Celebrate Good Times: Standards Keep Americans Safe for Fourth of July Weekend


New York, Jun 29, 2009

Barbecues, trips to the beach, and family gatherings will be common occurrences around the country this weekend as Americans celebrate the Fourth of July. Standards will keep citizens safe and sated for the holiday weekend and throughout the summer.

From classic hamburgers to spicy chicken wings, many family meals will be prepared over an outdoor grill this weekend. Standards for both gas and electric grills assure that the chef will be safe as the food is prepared. IEC 60335-2-78 Ed. 2.1 b:2008, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-78: Particular requirements for outdoor barbecues, deals with the safety of electric outdoor barbecues rated under 250V. This standard was developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. Secretariat duties for TC 61 are performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a member and audited designator of the American National Standards Institute. UL also serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to TC 61, carrying U.S. positions forward to the committee.

An American National Standard (ANS) developed by CSA America, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, provides similar guidelines for gas grills. ANSI Z21.89-2007/CSA 1.18-2007, Outdoor Cooking Specialty Gas Appliances, details specifications that protect the safety of users of gas grills, while also ensuring that the grills perform as expected.

Beyond the grill master, standards protect the safety of all family members enjoying some weekend sun. Sunglasses are critical for protecting the eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. ANSI Z80.3-2008, Nonprescription Sunglass and Fashion Eyewear Requirements, is an ANS that provides guidelines for recreational sunglasses, assuring the safety of consumers’ eyes as they soak up the sun. ANSI Z80.3-2008 was developed by the Z80 ANSI-accredited Standards Committee. The Vision Council serves as the ANSI-accredited secretariat for this committee.

UV rays can also be harmful to the skin. Some clothing is specially designed to offer protection against these rays, and standards guide the development, testing, and appropriate care of these garments. A standard developed by ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator, guides the preparation of fabrics to be tested for their ability to block UV rays. ASTM D6544-00(2007), Standard Practice for Preparation of Textiles Prior to Ultraviolet (UV) Transmission Testing, covers standardized exposures to laundering, simulated sunlight, and chlorinated pool water to which cloth labeled as UV-protective must be exposed prior to testing for UV transmission.

These and many more standards will protect Independence Day revelers in backyards and parks and on beaches from sea to shining sea.

 Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative