TIMING OF NEW IEC STANDARDS

It is very difficult to predict accurately the progress of the forthcoming IEC standards concerned with home use light based devices.

At the recent TC761  Annual Meeting in Didcot, UK the "horizontal" IEC 60825-1 Ed3 draft standard (which contains the "enabling wording" for the Laser Class 1C) reached the "CDV" Stage. (CDV = Committee Draft for Vote). This means that it is ready to go out to national committees for voting and a further maximum period of three months to attempt to resolve any negative votes. The approval stage is a two-month voting period for national bodies to vote positively, negatively or abstain. In the case of a negative vote, technical reasons should be given by the national body. If the final draft International Standard is not approved by a two-thirds majority and more than a quarter of the votes are negative, then the draft is referred back to the technical committee for reconsideration. Assuming the latest CDV is approved by national committees in the coming months, I still doubt if it will be published and distributed until after the next TC76 Annual Meeting in Frankfurt in September/October 2013.

Also at the TC76 Meeting in Didcot, Working Group 42  agreed to amend IEC60601-2-22 and IEC60601-2-57 to allow for medical use of Class 1C (-22) and IPL (-57) and produce a "CD" for approval across TC76. (CD = Committee Draft). These are the first key "vertical" standards that are needed following the (presumed) acceptance of the IEC 60825-1 Ed3 standard.

Finally, a further draft CD was prepared in Didcot for a "vertical" IEC60335-2-xx standard covering cosmetic/aesthetic use of consumer light-based products. This draft, or at least its technical content, needs to be adopted formally by TC613  for it to progress within the 60335 family of standards. TC76 WG4, which advises TC61 WG30, has asked both the Chair of TC61 (Derek Johns, NZ) and the Chair of TC76 (Jerry Dennis, USA) to ensure that this happens promptly or alternatively allow TC76 WG4 to develop the new draft standard.

In both of these cases, we are looking at late 2013 for the "vertical" standards to progress to national voting and some time in 2014 before they are published by the IEC at the FDIS stage (FDIS = First Draft International Standard). On the plus side they should be adopted in Europe at least (by CENELEC) very shortly after the IEC publication date, owing to CENELC’s parallel voting process.


Sources:
1International Electrotechnical Commission, Technical Committee TC76 (Optical Radiation and Safety Equipment)
2TC76 WG4 Safety of medical laser equipment.
3TC61 WG30 Safety of household and similar electrical appliances - Beauty therapy appliances for household and commercial use.

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