Standardization News

Standards for a Safer World

By: 
Katharine Morgan

Over the years, I’ve learned that standards can mean many different things to many different people. Standards can mean increased efficiency on an assembly line to one person. They can mean a potentially faster time to market for a new product to another. For some, standards can even provide the inspiration for technical innovation, leading to advancements that help our world work better in wonderful new ways.

However, for me, it may be most gratifying when standards help make the world around us safer for people. With this in mind, the features you will find in this issue provide several examples of the ways ASTM standards contribute to a safer world. 

There may be no more important place for people to feel safe than in their homes, and our cover article provides some critical examples of standards that help make all of us safer where we live and where children grow. From the upcoming revisions to the safety specification for toy safety (F963) to the guide for ensuring the safety of connected consumer products (F3463), ASTM’s committee on consumer products (F15) is doing essential work in this area.

Another area of safety covered on SN Online is the environment, and specifically, the water we all drink. With the world awakening to the dangers posed by “forever chemicals” like per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), ASTM’s environmental assessment, risk management, and corrective action committee (E50) is taking action to develop standards that will help remediate these cancer-causing substances, which have entered the natural environment around us over the years. This life-saving work is a tribute to the nimble and responsive nature of our committees, as well as the effectiveness of our standards-development process. 

I have often used this space to talk about how important ASTM’s mission is to me, and how important it is to keep in mind the obligation we have to help those around us. When I think about the impact of standards that will help keep children safer in their homes, or standards that will help make groundwater safer to drink, it makes me especially proud of our members and the work they do every day. 

One of the most vital aspects of helping our world work better is helping it work more safely. Thanks to the work of members like you, we continue to live up to our motto and the ideals behind it.

Katherine E. Morgan
President, ASTM International

Issue Month: 
March/April
Issue Year: 
2022