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Chemical Engineering: Standards, Safety & Regulations


In the United States, responsibility for setting product and process standards rests almost exclusively with the private sector. Government agencies rely heavily on voluntary standards, which they often incorporate into regulatory and procurement requirements. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Guide 2: 2004 defines a standard as a "document, established by consensus and approved by a recognized body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or characteristics for activities of their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context."  Standards can serve many purposes, including: fitness for purpose, compatibility, interchangeability, variety control, safety, protection of the environment, and product protection against climatic or other adverse conditions.Specifications are usually narrower in scope than standards.


American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

A premier source for timely, relevant, actionable information on national, regional, international standards and conformity assessment issues.

Computer and Communication

A very complete listing of companies, organizations, news groups and sources dealing with standards and standardization in the areas of communications and computer science.

Standards.Gov offers background materials and useful links for locating information about the use of standards in government. PLEASE NOTE: The primary focus is on federal agency use of standards for regulatory and procurement purposes.

Internet RFC/STD/FYI/BCP Archives

This Web site is an archive for the following Internet documents: RFCs (requests for comments), STD (standards), FYI (for your information), and BCP (best current practices). Searchable by keyword or document number, the archives may also be browsed by several indexes. All documents are freely available.

Internet-Drafts and RFC Search

Two types of documents are available through this Web site: Internet-Drafts and RFCs. RFCs (Requests for Comments) are official documents of the Internet Architecture Board; they are protocols and policies that never change, are permanently archived, and can be updated with a new RFC. An Internet-Draft has no formal status, is valid for only six months, and may become an RFC. Using the keyword search facility, either type of document can be located. Once it is found, the full text is freely available.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

 The NIST is a federal technology agency that works with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards. 

NSSN: A National Resource for Global Standards

References to standards from more than 600 developers worldwide. Provides descriptions and information on how to obtain standards

RFC Editor

Funded by the Internet Society, the RFC Editor is the master repository of RFCs (requests for comments) as well as RFC metadata. Search results include the metadata, links to the RFC text itself, and links to any errat

Standards.Gov offers background materials and useful links for locating information about the use of standards in government. PLEASE NOTE: The primary focus is on federal agency use of standards for regulatory and procurement purposes.


Provides access to standards and codes from over 350 standards organizations. Covering a wide range of industries, including electronics and information technology, this fee-based service delivers documents either by subscription or by individual document. Some of the standards organizations represented are the Electronics Industry Alliance, the IEEE, the International Organization for Standardization, and the International Committee for Information Technology Standards. Standards can be searched by keyword, title, ISBN, and document number.

Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA)

The Video Electronics Standards Association is an international non-profit organization representing hardware, software, PC, display and component manufacturers, cable and telephone companies, and service providers. VESA supports and sets industry-wide interface standards for the PC, workstation, and computing environments. VESA promotes and develops timely, relevant, open standards for the display and display interface industry, ensuring interoperability and encouraging innovation and market growth.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provide information such as:

  • Chemical and Physical Properties
  • Health Hazards
  • Fire and Reactivity Data
  • Spill and Disposal Procedures
  • First Aid Recommendations
  • Storage and Handling
  • Personal Protection

Regulatory Materials