Standards are the building blocks of innovation and the foundation of economic growth

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — NSF International, a global independent public health organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the commercial and consumer goods, health sciences, food and water industries, will sponsor the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) World Standards Week (September 30 - October 4, 2013) highlighting the role standards play in the global economy.

The goal of ANSI’s World Standards Week is to raise awareness about the importance of standardization to the world economy and to promote the role of standards and conformance in helping meet the needs of business, industry, government and consumers worldwide. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that global standards impact 80 percent of world commodity trade.1 Standards, like those developed by NSF International, are an essential building block to protect public health and consumer safety and provide uniform requirements for acceptance in global markets.

“Standards development is essential to protecting and improving public health and the environment globally,” said NSF International President & CEO Kevan P. Lawlor. “NSF International continues to develop new standards for emerging markets for food, water, health and sustainability sectors, furthering NSF’s mission of protecting and improving human health.”

NSF International has developed over 80 voluntary American National Standards in the areas of consumer products, commercial food equipment, dietary supplements, water products and sustainability and building products. NSF/ANSI standards are developed through a public process that ensures balanced input from industry representatives, public health/regulatory officials and users/consumer representatives. Developing these NSF standards would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the 5,500 members on NSF joint committees, task groups, technical committees and protocol and standards writing groups.

Building on more than 60 years of standards development, NSF International’s new standards this year include the first in a series of American National Standards for ground-source geothermal piping systems, NSF/ANSI 358-1, which will be referenced in the 2015 International Mechanical Code.  Other ANSI standards developed by NSF include sustainability assessment standards for building materials, such as carpet, resilient flooring and wallcovering products, which give companies, organizations and governments credible tools for identifying and specifying more sustainable products in this expanding market. NSF also developed NSF/ANSI 372: Drinking Water System Components — Lead Content, which contains procedures to verify the lead content of drinking water products and meets the 2014 low-lead requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

Lawlor will participate in ANSI’s celebration of World Standards Week 2013 at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center in Washington, D.C. the week of September 30. Lawlor serves as Vice Chair of the ANSI Board of Directors and is a frequent contributor to ANSI initiatives and events.

“Now more than ever, we need effective tools to turn our nation’s limitless ingenuity into concrete solutions to drive U.S. competitiveness for the 21st century – and strategic standardization is one of those tools,” said S. Joe Bhatia, ANSI President and CEO. “Standards and the related conformity assessment activities facilitate technological innovations and foster social and environmental advancements that increase the health and safety of the world and its citizens.”

NSF International also is sponsoring the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day on October 3, held in conjunction with World Standards Week, and co-chaired by ANSI and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), with the Toy Industry Association (TIA) serving as the administrating organization.  This year’s celebration focuses on “Standards for a World at Work and Play,” highlighting how standards bring confidence to businesses, governments and consumers and continue to evolve to meet changing global needs.

More information on NSF International American National Standards for water, food equipment, dietary supplements, sustainability and consumer products can be found on NSF International’s standards webpage.  To purchase copies of NSF industry standards and technical books, please visit the NSF Bookstore.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with an NSF standards expert, contact Senior Communications Manager Greta Houlahan at media@nsf.org or +1 734-913-5723.

Background on World Standards Week and World Standards Day
World Standards Week is an annual event hosted by the American National Standards Institute–coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system – where standards and conformity professionals come together to collaborate on shared priorities.

World Standards Day began in 1970 as a celebration of the birth of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which held its first meeting in London on October 14, 1946. Each year, the U.S. Celebration of World Standards Day is organized by a planning committee made up of individuals from across the U.S. standards and conformity assessment community. ANSI is the U.S. representative to ISO and one of the founding organizations of World Standards Day.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent global organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 150 countries, NSF International is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and has been collaborating with the World Health Organization since 1997 in water quality and safety, food safety and indoor environments.

1 United States Department of Commerce. (2004). Standards and Competitiveness – Coordinating for Results.

2 National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2010). NIST: Did you know...