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VALUE OF STANDARDS for consumers

Voluntary standards and conformity assessment activities benefit public health, safety, and the environment. You, the consumer, benefit from the development and design of new and improved requirements for the safety and quality of the products you buy and the services you rely upon each day.

While a standard is a technical expression of how to make a product safe, efficient, and compatible with others, a standard alone cannot guarantee performance. Conformity assessment provides assurance to consumers by increasing consumer confidence when personnel, products, systems, processes, or services are evaluated against the requirements of a voluntary standard. Products that take consumer needs into account are more likely to be accepted into the marketplace, and more likely to be adopted into regulation where applicable.

for consumers  

Consider this . . .

Your involvement in standardization not only promotes safer, healthier, and more environmentally sound products and services, it also increases confidence in the quality and reliability of products and services available, and provides you a greater selection of goods and services at lower costs.

Consumer concerns include issues such as product compatibility; quality of products and services; ease of use and accessibility; the environment, health, and safety; and corporate and social responsibility. The emergence of the online market means more information and more choices are available to you. With its emphasis on balance, openness, and transparency, the U.S standards system provides a valuable forum for your voice to be heard.

For example . . .

On the case studies page, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association describes a standard that has helped to prevent more than 40,000 home fires, over 350 deaths, and more than 1,400 injuries each year.

Beyond the bottom line: standards impact quality, lead-time, factory flexibility, and supply chain management.
Standardization and conformity assessment activities lead to lower costs by reducing redundancy, minimizing errors, and reducing time to market.
Demonstrating compliance to standards helps your products, services, and personnel to cross borders. Standards also make cross-border interoperability possible, ensuring that products manufactured in one country can be sold and used in another.
Businesses not only reduce the economic risk of their research and development activities by participating in standardization, they can also lower their overall R&D costs by relying on previously standardized technologies and terminologies.