It’s the last week of March already and time to write my next column. The March winds hopefully have settled down now since Saint Patrick’s Day and Easter have past. Spring officially arrived this past weekend and my daffodils are starting to bloom. Hopefully, your yard and garden have survived the winter and will be in full bloom soon. Once again we put away our winter clothes and don our colored lightweight apparel, pants, jackets and suits. The rituals of spring begin as we adjust to a new season and reckon with April rain and income tax returns.

As I mentioned in my first column this year ASTM Committee F-23 met in Tampa, FL January 29 – 31. They had a productive meeting. A new chair of F-23, Tom Neal was appointed by ASTM International. Tom will lead the committee the next two years as it works on standard development of test methods, guides, practices, specifications, and programs for personal protective clothing and equipment. Currently, the radiological hazard committee is reviewing a proposed ASTM inspection standard, while two other technical standards in the chemical hazard work group committee are being considered. These involve adding a permeation computer program to the ASTM F-739-99A permeation test method and another permeation test method for Toxic Industrial Chemicals. The committee is scheduled to meet again this June in Denver, CO June 24 during ASTM 2008 Committee Week to review and discuss revisions or vote on these proposed standards.

Another noteworthy development in protective clothing and equipment research that occurred earlier this month was NIOSH’s stakeholder’s meeting March 6th at their National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) in Pittsburgh, PA. The purpose of the meeting was for NIOSH to discuss current and future personal protective technology (PPT) research projects. There was also an opportunity for discussion following the presentations, including a poster presentation. So far, I have not seen any preliminary reports from the meeting, but know that there was a lot of interest in nanotechnology. You may find more information on NIOSH’s web site

As for activity at Pesce Lab Sales, it has been fairly quiet except for an occasional inquiry about permeation test systems and analytical equipment. Please keep us in mind if you have any questions about permeation test cells, methods and systems. Also remember that we still have samples of the standard 16 mil neoprene reference for testing your permeation test system. We look forward to providing timely response to your questions and needs.

Happy spring!

Norm Henry