Because French is the second official language of Canada, an important ASTM International standard that has been included in that country’s Tobacco Act is now available for purchase in French, as well as in English. The standard, E 2187, Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes, predicts a cigarette’s capacity to ignite soft furniture. Test Method E 2187 is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E05.15 on Furnishing and Contents, which is part of ASTM International’s Committee E05 on Fire Standards.
Canada’s Tobacco Act now states that “every manufacturer shall ensure that the cigarettes of every brand that it manufactures on or after October 1, 2005, burn their full length no more than 25 % of the time when tested on 10 layers of filter paper using ASTM International Method E 2187-04, dated July 1, 2004, and titled Standard Test Method for Measuring the Ignition Strength of Cigarettes.”
Originally approved in 2002, E 2187 was developed by a team led by Richard Gann, a senior research scientist with the Building and Fire Research Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md. Test Method E 2187 measures the capability of a cigarette, positioned on one of three standard substrates, to generate sufficient heat to continue burning and thus potentially cause ignition of bedding or upholstered furniture.
In addition to the Canadian act, the states of New York, California, Vermont, Illinois and New Hampshire have all enacted legislation requiring that all cigarettes sold in those states be self-extinguishing in accordance with E 2187.
In the spring of this year, a group of fire service members, consumer and disabled rights advocates, medical and public health practitioners and other related organizations, including ASTM International, formed the Coalition for Fire-Safe Cigarettes. Coordinated by the National Fire Protection Association, the purpose of the CFSC is to save lives and prevent injuries and damage that result from cigarette-ignited fires.
ASTM International standards are available from Customer Service (phone: 610/832-9585; email@example.com) or at www.astm.org.For further technical information, contact Richard Gann (phone: 301/975-6866; firstname.lastname@example.org). Committee E05 meets Dec. 3-6, during the December Committee Week in Atlanta, Ga. For membership or meeting information, contact Thomas O’Toole, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9739; email@example.com).