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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Human Cell Lines to Occupational Risks

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:

Human Cell Lines
Human cell lines are used in medical research as models of normal and cancer tissues; however, with more than 100 trillion cells making up the human body, cell lines can be misidentified as a result poor laboratory techniques and practices. A recently published American National Standard (ANS) from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC), an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, is expected to have broad impact across basic cell research, drug discovery, and translational medicine.

The standard aims to prevent misidentification of cell lines through universally applicable methods for authenticating new and established human cell lines and human primary tissue used in research. ANSI/ATCC ASN-0002-2011, Authentication of Human Cell Lines: Standardization of STR Profiling, outlines procedures for the unambiguous authentication and identification of human cell lines using short tandem repeat (STR) profiling. The new standard provides specifications for the methodology of DNA extraction and for STR profiling, data analyses, quality control of the data, and the interpretation of results, as well as the implementation of a searchable public database.

ATCC is a global, not-for-profit bio-resource center and research organization that provides biological products, technical services, and educational programs to private industry, government, and academic organizations around the world. ATCC seeks to acquire, authenticate, preserve, develop, standardize, and distribute biological materials and information for the advancement and application of scientific knowledge.

Occupational Risks
Occupational safety and health is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health, and welfare of workers. Standards play a critical role in supporting occupational health by helping companies and organizations to improve safety and quality of life for employees.

A new ANS that can be applied in any occupational setting provides guidance on including prevention through design concepts within an occupational safety and health management system. The standard was developed by the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z590, a group administered by ANSI member and accredited standards developer the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

With ANSI/ASSE Z590.3-2011, Prevention through Design Guidelines for Addressing Occupational Hazards and Risks in Design and Redesign Processes, decisions pertaining to occupational hazards and risks can be incorporated into the design and redesign process of work premises, tools and equipment, and work processes, including their construction, manufacture, use, maintenance, reuse, and disposal. ANSI/ASSE Z590.3-2011 provides a life-cycle assessment and design model that balances environmental and occupational safety and health goals over the life span of a facility, process, or product.

ASSE, an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, is a professional safety organization committed to protecting people, property, and the environment. Its more than 32,000 members manage, supervise, and consult on safety, health, and environmental issues in industry, insurance, government, and education.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]