Portable Sanitation Association International

Association Insight, May 26, 2021

Issue link: http://psai.uberflip.com/i/1377370

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ASSOCIATIONINSIGHT Portable Sanitation Association International News BIWEEKLY EDITION MAY 26, 2021 Page 2 Continued on page 4 Improved Standards for Portable Sanitations in ISO Standard…continued from page 1 International Tourism Standard Brings Opportunity In Europe a wide array of stakeholders recently began creating new guidance related to travel in the post-pandemic world. Although these revised parameters—begun in June 2020 and released last week—are recognized as an ISO standard and will be used around the world, the United States through ANSI did not participate in the development of the document. Consequently, the PSAI could not contribute directly to the work. During the process of writing and voting on the new document, the PSAI watched and cheered our allies across the pond as they worked together to ensure the portable sanitation solutions the industry offers were fairly and strategically represented in the final document. In the final result, industry leaders there made a significant positive impact on this new global standard. Rather than allowing the codification of originally proposed language that would have placed portable solutions at a significant disadvantage, their work ensures that our industry will be able to contribute to positive public health in the years to come. No Portable Restrooms Anywhere? Designated "ISO/PAS 5643:2021 Tourism and related services—Requirements and guidelines to reduce the spread of Covid-19 1 in the tourism industry, " much of the new tourism standard covers areas that are not of particular significance to portable sanitation. But some sections are critical to the industry, including one that addresses ancillary services and facilities for all subsectors covered in the document. The original proposed language said flatly: "Chemical toilets should not be open to the public." According to industry sources, this draft language may have originated in a Spanish document published in June 2020 (UNE 0066-20) that pertained to portable restrooms on beaches. By the time it found its way into the proposed ISO standard, it was included in this more general way, and it could have had wide-ranging implications for nonsewered sanitation solutions in a wide array of applications globally. Members of the portable sanitation community in Europe were understandably alarmed by this proposition. These professionals know that lack of portable toilets creates its own massive health problems anywhere people gather but don't have access to sewered facilities. So the European portable sanitation community determined they would do what was necessary to get the language altered in the draft. Changes Take Time and Effort Changing a proposed ISO standard is complex. Only representatives of participating national standards bodies can comment—which is why the PSAI's hands were tied—and representatives must follow procedures set forth by ISO. In this case, Sandra Giern, waste treatment, logistics and hazardous waste management expert at the German association BDE, responded to the proposed prohibition of portable toilets through the required ISO process as follows: "It is not understandable why the use of chemical toilets is cancelled in the sequence of requirements. The points formulated […] are understandable and can also be implemented in combination with mobile toilets, so the general ban on these units is not justified. 1 Note that the term "Covid-19" is preferred by ISO at this time. Since the word is an acronym, most US style guides prefer the form "COVID-19," and that is what the PSAI uses unless directly quoting a source using another form. Sandra Giern

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