Homeland Security demands more laughable standards

The National Institute of Standards and Technology offers up this article with a straight face:

With summer travel season hard upon us, specialists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have helped create two new standards designed to increase safety as we rush from gate to gate in crowded mass transit centers. Their efforts will help to fortify against potential bomb threats in the nation’s transportation centers…

In case you considered worrying about this.

While industry has been producing blast-resistant trash receptacles for years, there were no widely-accepted specifications for judging a manufacturer’s particular claims of product safety. The Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and several manufacturers began working with NIST in 2007 to address the lack of standards for blast resistance among trash receptacles. The results of the DHS-funded work now have been published by the standards development organization ASTM International…

“In practice, this means a transit center manager can make a purchase with confidence in the performance of the unit, the specific threat level anticipated and cost,” explains Chris White, a researcher in NIST’s Building and Fire Research Laboratory. “If, for example, you know you can, at a minimum, detect the trafficking of five or more pounds of plastic explosive, you can purchase trash receptacles that will redirect the blast at up to that level of explosive force.”

You can also pour endless amount of taxpayer dollars down every rathole paranoid profit center the government can think up.

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