ASTM Declarable Substances Committee Focuses on Chinese Outreach

Events Include USTDA-Sponsored Workshop, Rare Earth Materials Workshop and RoHS Round Table

ASTM International staff members Alyson Fick (front row, fourth from right) and Liu Fei (front row, right) and ASTM Committee F40 members pose at the U.S.-China Provisions on Environmental Administration of New Chemical Substances workshop in Shanghai, China.

ASTM International Committee F40 on Declarable Substances in Materials conducted its biannual standards development meetings on March 10-11 at Thermo Fisher Scientific's facilities in Shanghai, China. The meeting included both standards development work and special presentations.

ASTM staff and F40 members also participated in other events related to declarable substances held in China, including workshops on new chemical substances and rare earth materials, and a round-table discussion of the restriction of hazardous substances.

F40 Meeting

Committee F40 is currently developing three proposed new standards, which were discussed in the Shanghai meeting:

  • WK26792, Guide for the Identification of Declarable Substances in Polymeric Materials;
  • WK21957, Test Method for Identification and Quantification of Lead in Paint and Other Coatings Using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry (EDXRF); and
  • WK44003, Test Method for Identification and Quantification of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in Rare Earth Materials (REMs) by X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry.

In addition to work on the proposed standards, the meeting featured a guest speaker, Huiming Chen, F40 member and director of the Institute of Chemicals Safety Research at the Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine. Huiming spoke on the management and regulation of chemical safety in China, as well as work being done at CAIQ regarding REACH (registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals), regulations for chemical safety outside China, and testing technology and capabilities at CAIQ.

New Chemical Substance Workshop

Members of F40 participated in the U.S.-China Provisions on the Environmental Administration of New Chemical Substances workshop, held in Shanghai on March 12. The workshop was organized by the American National Standards Institute on behalf of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and in cooperation with ASTM International. More than 30 participants from different regions of China, as well as from other countries, attended the event.

Attendees represented industry, government and research institutes. The program focused on the regulatory framework for chemicals and hazardous substances in China and its significant impact on U.S. industries active in the Chinese market. Workshop topics included setting and evaluating chemical exposure limits, chemical regulations in China and test methods for chemicals. All participants had the opportunity to share information regarding chemical substance safety issues.

Rare Earth Materials Workshop

On March 13, F40 held a Rare Earth Materials workshop. Gao Lan, secretary general, Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China, Technical Committee 229 on Rare Earth Metals, provided an overview of TC229's work, while Taco van der Maten, Panalytical, Almelo, Netherlands, a member of the ASTM board of directors and chairman of ASTM Subcommittee F40.04 on Rare Earth Materials, described the history and current activities of the subcommittee. The workshop also featured a presentation by Kevin Moran, director, Rare Earth Technology Alliance.

RoHS Roundtable

Alyson Fick, the ASTM International staff manager for F40, spoke at a March 17 event held by the American Chamber of Commerce, China division, in Beijing. The round table on restriction of hazardous substances (RoHS) standards provided the opportunity for China-based U.S.-funded companies to understand ASTM standards that consider RoHS issues. Also speaking at that round table were Weibing Xing, chief engineer, China Electronics Standardization Institute and Huiming Chen.

While in Beijing, Fick met with the secretariat of SAC TC229 and exchanged information on the scope and the standards development initiatives of ASTM Subcommittee F40.04 on Rare Earth Materials. The secretary general of TC229, Gao Lan, has submitted a proposal regarding a rare earth standard to ASTM F40.04.

Sinopec Visit

In addition to the F40 meetings and events, Fick, along with ASTM China office representatives Liu Fei and Nancy Hu, visited the polymers and plastic building product division of Sinopec in Beijing. This division uses many standards under the jurisdiction of ASTM International Committee D20 on Plastics. The ASTM staff provided an overview of ASTM and D20 to 20 attending engineers. A delegation from this division of Sinopec visited ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa., in September 2013.

Participating in the round-table discussion on the restriction of hazardous substances were, from left: Alyson Fick, staff manager, ASTM International; Weibing Xing, chief engineer, China Electronics Standardization Institute; and Huiming Chen, chief expert on chemicals safety research, and professor, Institute of Chemicals Safety Research, Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine.

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