Original Press Release
Congress to Require Compliance with American National Standard for Safer Swimming Pools
Press release date: November 26, 2008
Congressional legislation on consumer safety that mandates compliance with an American National Standard (ANS) will soon take effect, highlighting the important role of voluntary consensus standards in assuring consumer protection.
The legislation provides guidelines for required suction outlet fittings and covers for swimming pools and spas. When not properly covered, these suction outlets can lead to injury or death by entrapment of hair, body, limbs, and attire such as jewelry or bathing suits. CPSC records indicate that 74 instances of such entrapment have been reported from 1997 to 2007 alone.
As established in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P.L. 110-140, Title XIV), all suction outlet fittings and covers manufactured, distributed, or sold in the United States must comply with ASME/ANSI A112.19.8-2007, Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, Hot Tubs, and Whirlpool Bathtub Appliances, as of December 19, 2008. Additionally, all public pools and spas must be equipped with new anti-entrapment drain covers that comply with the ASME/ANSI standard.
This ANS, developed by ASME, establishes materials, testing, and marking requirements for suction fittings that are designed to be totally submerged for use in swimming pools, wading pools, spas, and hot tubs, as well as other aquatic facilities. ASME is an organizational member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and an ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer.
By continuing to reference ANS in its legislation, Congress demonstrates its recognition of the value of standards developed in accordance with ANSI's consensus procedures. Additional ANS referenced in recent legislation include ANSI/SVIA 1-2007, Four-Wheel All-Terrain Vehicles, and ASTM F963-07e1, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety.
To learn more about the American National Standards process, read the ANSI Essential Requirements: Due process requirements for American National Standards.