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Nanotechnology Standards Development Subject of Upcoming ASTM International Meeting

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On Jan. 18, 2005, ASTM International will hold an organizational meeting to discuss the development of consensus standards for Nanotechnology. The meeting will take place at ASTM International Headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa.

At a planning meeting held on Oct. 1, 2004, at NIST Headquarters, key representatives from the many stakeholders affected by the nanotech space, including the government (NIST, U.S. FDA), academic (CBEN/Rice University), legal, and industrial sectors unanimously agreed to hold an organizational meeting for the development of this new activity within ASTM International. Various disciplines, including consumers, manufacturers, suppliers, trade and professional societies, and federal agencies are being invited to participate.

The attendees at the planning meeting recognized that while research into properties, synthesis, and applications of nanostructures is growing at an exponential rate, there does not exist (at present) a common language to describe the chemical compositions and physical forms of these new materials. This absence hampers technical communication within the myriad fields involved in this space, and prevents outreach to the public at large as products containing nanomaterials enter the marketplace.

ASTM International stands ready to accommodate this new standardization initiative. Stakeholder involvement at this meeting is critical to guide the direction for this new activity. The time is now for participation in a neutral forum whereby the private and public sectors can work together to develop a consensus standards program.

ASTM International provides a management system for the development of standards and related information for materials, products, systems, and services used globally. All segments of an industry (producers, users, consumers, government, and academia) participate in the development of this information to ensure that all technical points of view are represented - it is extremely important that all parties are confident they will have fair and equal representation in the development of the final consensus standards. Finally, ASTM International provides leadership and management support for 136 standards developing committees. These committees have produced over 11,000 standards for an extremely diverse collection of industries.

For questions concerning the above, please feel free to contact Pat A. Picariello, director, Developmental Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9720; ppicarie@astm.org).

Release #7065

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