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Keep Your Kidneys Healthy on World Kidney Day with a Little Help from Standards

March 14 marks the eighth annual World Kidney Day, an initiative intended to spread awareness about good kidney health and the risks and warning signs of kidney disease. World Kidney Day is jointly run by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF), with assistance from international nephrology and transplantation experts. Maintaining good kidney health and effectively treating individuals with kidney disease are important goals facilitated by voluntary consensus standards in the U.S. and abroad.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 20 million U.S. residents - including more than one in nine adults - suffers from chronic kidney disease, with many cases going undetected. The foundation recommends a number of things that all people can do to reduce their risk of kidney problems, from eating right and exercising to monitoring cholesterol levels and getting an annual physical.

Staying effectively hydrated is an important part of maintaining good kidney health. NSF/ANSI 53-2011a, Drinking water treatment units - Health effects, is one of a number of American National Standards (ANS) that address safe drinking water, which is essential to safe hydration. Developed by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator NSF International, the standard guides the reduction of substances that may be present in drinking water through the use of filter systems.

The National Kidney Foundation recommends reducing your sodium intake to six grams of salt per day or less in order to lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions that can contribute to kidney disease. However, if you eat out a lot, cutting down on salt can be difficult, as many restaurants serve their food with large amounts of salt to heighten flavor. One option is to increase the number of meals that you prepare at home, giving you more control over how much salt is in your food. ASTM International, an ANSI member and audited designator, has developed a standard intended to provide an effective test method for the performance of convection ovens. Convection ovens heat food by circulating hot air around heating trays and dishes, often leading to more even cooking. The standard, ASTM F1496-12, Standard Test Method for Performance of Convection Ovens, applies to general purpose, full-size, and half-size convection ovens, as well as bakery ovens.

World Kidney Day also serves to highlight the complex medical procedures that allow people with kidney disease to live more comfortably. For individuals suffering from renal failure, one advanced form of kidney disease, standards play an important role in guiding operation of the dialysis procedure that mimics the function of the kidneys. One such standard is ANSI/AAMI/IEC 60601-2-16:2012, Medical electrical equipment - Part 2-16: Particular requirements for basic safety and essential performance of hemodialysis, hemodiafiltration and hemofiltration equipment, an ANS from ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 62, Electrical equipment in medical practice, Subcommittee (SC) 62D, Electromedical equipment. The standard applies to the basic safety and essential performance of haemodialysis, haemodiafiltration, and haemofiltration equipment, setting down the minimum safety requirements for their use. AAMI serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to SC 62D.

To mark World Kidney Day, ANSI encourages everyone to learn more about kidney disease and the risks it poses. For more information, visit the World Kidney Day website at


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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