Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 17:05:04 EST
Reply-To: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**CS.COM
Subject: Re: Visorgogs
Comments: To: Labsafe**At_Symbol_Here**
Jim Kaufman,

First, there are indeed 48 names on the list, but only 34 are voters.  The
others appear to be are alternates from the same organization.

There are 29 organizations represented, plus one individual expert and 4
officers for the committee.

Five of the 29 are from government agencies and they usually only provide
guidance and will abstain rather than vote up or down.

Eight are industry trade associations for manufacturers or sellers of the
equipment or of the component materials.  The International Safety Equipment
Association is the biggest one and it refers to itself as "the trade association
in the United States for Companies that manufacture safety equipment."  Some of
the other trade associations have names that sound more altruistic, but a
visit to their websites will clear up what there missions are.

I know two of the trade associations well because I'm a member in order to
get their publications.  It is expensive, but you never learn more than when you
listen to an industry talking to itself.  And if you need corroboration of
the fact that these people are biased in favor of the industries they represent,
you can read it in their own words and mission statements.

The rest are a combination of trade associations for medical professionals,
unions, users, and insurance company, etc.

What I am trying to say is that while the standard setting process is
important and I vote on a flock of ASTM, two NFPA standards and monitor many ESTA
standards, we should all remember that the very industry that the standard
effects is going to have a big say in how that standard reads.  The committees are
not a bunch of altruistic, selfless, do-gooders.  Many of the voters are people
who are looking out for their (or their constituents) financial well-being
first and foremost.

In January, I will go to an ASTM meeting where I will once again ask the
committee how they can continue to label many art materials "nontoxic" when there
is absolutely no data whatever on the toxicity of the major ingredients--the
organic pigments (40-60%).  And many of these pigments are in classes we know
are toxic from the few other members of the class that have been tested.

I voted negative on the art materials chronic toxicity labeling standard (D
4236) because this standard specifically requires a risk assessment to be done
by a toxicologist and, obviously, it is impossible to assess risk with no
data.   But since most of the committee members are art material manufacturers or
their paid consultants including the toxicologists who do this mysterious risk
assessing at fantastic salaries, my negative will be voted down as

If it weren't for two ethical manufacturers who finally "get it" and refuse
to use the word "nontoxic" on such products, I would be discouraged after 20
years of this fight for sanity.

And I could tell you dozens of other standards that have holes in them as big
as this one.  So if I sound a bit jaded, there is good reason.

Monona Rossol (And have you REALLY been around longer than I have?   If you
have, its probably you who's confused.  I'll tell you mine if you tell me

In a message dated 11/10/04 5:51:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, Labsafe**At_Symbol_Here**
> This is an interesting claim.  I know exactly who is one the committee.  I
> have a copy of the committee roster and do not recognize any organization or
> individual that is a manufacturer.  Is this simply your personal opinions or
> is there some other basis for your claims?
> There appear to be 48 named members.  Who is a manufacturer?  Who holds the
> opinion you propose?  How do you know this is something they (the committee
> as a whole and any one individual in particular) don't want to do?  Just
> curious and looking for primary sources.
> Thanks in advance for providing some corroborating evidence for your claim.
> Jim Kaufman (been around a LONGER TIME, prefer solid evidence over personal
> opinions and don't appreciate it when the two become confused.)

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.