Standards help level the playing field by stimulating trade, innovation and global economic growth

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, sustainability and water industries, will honor the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) World Standards Week (October 20-24, 2014) by highlighting the key role standards play in the global economy. Standards, like those developed by NSF International, help protect public health and the environment and provide consistent requirements for acceptance in global markets.

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The goal of ANSI’s World Standards Week is to raise awareness about the importance of standardization and to promote the role of standards and conformance in meeting the needs of business, industry, government and consumers worldwide. Today an estimated 80 percent of world merchandise trade is affected by standards or regulations that reference or incorporate standards.1

“Standards development helps protect public health and consumer safety by providing a uniform means of evaluating the health or environmental impacts of products,” said NSF International President & CEO Kevan P. Lawlor who also serves as Vice Chair of the ANSI Board of Directors. “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.”

“Standards and conformity assessment are powerful tools that can be used strategically to fuel innovation and economic growth,” said ANSI President and CEO S. Joe Bhatia. “World Standards Week is an opportunity for companies large and small, public- and private-sector organizations, and consumers and other stakeholders from across industries to collaborate on the ways that standardization can help them address common issues and increase competitiveness. The best solutions are developed when all interested parties come together and share insights, and ANSI encourages everyone to take part in what will be a productive week of events.”

Accredited by ANSI and the Standards Council of Canada to develop standards and provide product certification, NSF International has developed over 90 voluntary American National Standards during the past 60+ years. This includes NSF/ANSI standards for consumer products, dietary supplements, water products, commercial and residential food equipment, and more sustainable water contact and chemical products, services and commercial building and interiors products.

“Developing standards that help protect and improve human health globally will continue to be our focus. These standards also help manufacturers exporting products to and from the U.S. to meet important public health requirements and regulations in countries worldwide,” said Lawlor.

As part of the meeting surrounding ANSI’s World Standards Week, Lawlor will moderate a roundtable discussion on issues regarding standards developing organizations and conformity assessment bodies on October 22, 2014, in Washington, DC. This discussion will be held in conjunction with ANSI’s Legal Issues Forum, addressing Best Practices for Standards Developers and Conformity Assessment Bodies to Avoid Legal Liability in Tort, Antitrust, and Other Areas of the Law.

NSF/ANSI standards are developed through a public process that ensures balanced input from public health and regulatory officials, industry representatives and users/consumer representatives. Developing NSF standards would not be possible without the commitment of the 5,500 members on NSF joint committees, task groups, technical committees, and protocol and standards writing groups.

Information on NSF American National Standards for water, food equipment, dietary supplements, sustainability and consumer products can be found on NSF’s standards webpage. Information on purchasing industry standards and technical documents can be found on the NSF Bookstore. Products that meet the requirements of these standards are listed on NSF International’s website.

Independent, third-party testing and certification helps organizations access new international export markets, demonstrate commitment to safety and quality, and increase credibility and acceptance among retailers, consumers and regulators. NSF certification includes testing and certifying drinking water treatment products and water filters, commercial foodservice equipment and a wide array of consumer products such as bottled water, nutritional supplements, private label goods, personal care items and home appliances (washers, dryers and dishwashers). Additionally, NSF develops sustainability assessment standards for commercial building and interiors products, certifies products to those standards and is developing a sustainability assessment standard for services and service providers.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with an NSF standards expert, contact NSF Communications Specialist Kelly Ingerly at media@nsf.org or +1 734-827-6850.

Background on World Standards Week:World Standards Week, to be held this year on October 20-24, is an annual event where members of the standards and conformity assessment community come together in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration. For details and registration information, visit www.ansi.org/wsweek.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, 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 155 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

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