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Celebrate July 4th with Standards!

As this year's long Fourth of July holiday weekend approaches, millions of U.S. citizens and residents are making preparations for their annual celebration of Independence Day. And while revelers mark the founding of the United States with fireworks and patriotic feeling, voluntary consensus standards will play an important role in supporting the varied products and technologies that make the holiday come alive.

For many people, the Fourth of July just isn't complete without a festive holiday parade. These traditional events are particularly popular with families, providing an opportunity to listen to live music from local marching bands and watch as motorized floats, costumed marchers, and processions of trained horses pass by. A standard from American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator ASTM International can help keep horse riders safe while participating in parades, or riding in their free time. ASTM F1163-13, Standard Specification for Protective Headgear Used in Horse Sports and Horseback Riding, covers performance criteria and test methods for riding helmets and other protective headgear.

Given the often-sweltering weather that hits much of the U.S. during July, Independence Day has come to be associated with efforts to keep cool, with pool and beach retreats playing a big part in the popular image of the holiday. ISO 105-E03:2010, Textiles - Tests for colour fastness - Part E03: Colour fastness to chlorinated water (swimming-pool water), provides a test method for determining how exposure to chlorinated pool water affects color fading and running in swimwear. The standard was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 38, Textiles, Subcommittee (SC) 1, Tests for coloured textiles & colorants. ASTM International serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to both ISO TC 38 and SC 1.

Enjoying a cold drink or two is a regular part of Independence Day for adults and children alike - though parents may indulge with a glass of chilled white wine while their kids drink soda or bottled water. ANSI/AHAM HRF-1-2007, Energy, Performance and Capacity of Household Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers and Freezers, ensures consumers easy access to a cool, refreshing drink. The standard was developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

While it's hard to imagine July 4 without a fireworks display, putting on your own can mean taking a serious and unnecessary risk: during 2013, eight people died and more than 11,000 were sent to emergency rooms in connection with consumer fireworks accidents. ANSI member and audited designator the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) cautions against consumer fireworks, due to the significant risk of serious injury. Instead, NFPA recommends attending public fireworks shows overseen by qualified professionals. To better spread this important message, NFPA serves as the coordinator of the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, a nationwide organization representing national and state groups working to protect individuals from the dangers associated with consumer-overseen fireworks displays. To learn more about the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, visit the group's official website.

Whether you're relaxing poolside with friends or watching a parade with your family, standards serve an important function in supporting the activities that make Independence Day special.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]