FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2010
Contact: Greta Houlahan
Adrienne Watts Dayton
Phone: 301.495.0240 ext. 1031
First Comprehensive Standard to Certify Health, Safety and Environmental Aspects of Products and Equipment Used in the Educational Environment
ANN ARBOR, Mich. and SILVER SPRING, Md. — NSF International and the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) are developing a standard for K-12 school equipment and supplies. The standard will be the first comprehensive standard to certify health, safety and environmental aspects of products and equipment used in an educational setting. There are currently no programs that evaluate school equipment and products on a comprehensive basis.
NSF/NSSEA Standard 380: School Supplies and Equipment covers several aspects of school equipment and products including: electrical and fire safety, volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions, materials safety, and stability and load performance. The new standard includes requirements for: desks, chairs, tables, visual communication products, audio-visual equipment, seating equipment, flooring, lab equipment, among other items. Product performance will be evaluated by physical & mechanical testing, chemical analysis and volatile organic composition.
“In today’s market there is no standardized way to evaluate the safety and sustainability of furniture and supplies used in our classrooms. The new standard will allow NSSEA members to demonstrate, in a tangible way, their commitment to producing furniture of superior quality that enhance public health and safety,” says Tim Holt, President/CEO of NSSEA. “With 66 years of experience developing American national public health standards, NSF International is well positioned to assist NSSEA in its goal of establishing this consensus standard for K-12 products.”
The K-12 school equipment standard will be developed using a consensus-based approach involving representation from all stakeholders affected by the scope of the standard via NSF’s standards development process. NSF International is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop American national standards. This process ensures balanced input and representation from K-12 school and educational advocacy organizations, school procurement professionals, public health and regulatory officials, industry and consumers.
NSF International will launch a certification program, which will be based on the K-12 school equipment standard. The certification program will verify that all NSF Certified products meet the standard’s requirements. All NSF Certified products will be listed on NSF’s website and can bear the NSF Certification mark.
“Developing a national standard and certification program will enable school districts to easily and efficiently identify products and equipment that are appropriate for use in the K-12 educational setting. The standard also will help meet the needs of product manufacturers, educational organizations and consumer interest groups looking for standardization and third-party objectivity,” said Jane Wilson, Director of Standards, NSF International.
Contact Jane Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-827-6835 for more information about the new standard or if you are interested in participating in the standard’s development process. Contact Bill Duffy at email@example.com or 301-495-0240 for information about NSSEA’s involvement in the standard.
About NSF International
NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, certifies products and writes standards for food, water and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide and operates in more than 120 countries. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.
While focusing on food, water, consumer products and the environment, NSF International develops consensus national standards, provides third-party conformity assessment services, and offers Education and Training services. NSF is widely recognized for its scientific and technical expertise in the health and environmental sciences. Its professional staff includes engineers, chemists, microbiologists, toxicologists, and environmental health professionals with broad experience serving the needs of both public and private organizations.
Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, dietary and nutritional supplement certification, and management systems registrations (e.g. ISO 14001) delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations.
About the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA)
The National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) is the leading trade organization for the educational products industry. Founded in 1916, NSSEA promotes an open market for quality educational products and services that are produced and delivered by professional suppliers and dealers. The mission of NSSEA is to serve the educational products marketplace by providing high quality tradeshows that increase the productivity of the channel; networking opportunities to build relationships with trading partners; and market information and training on which to make solid business decisions. For more information, visit www.nssea.org.