ASTM WK30533

    New Test Method for Evaluating the Relative Effectiveness of Hand Hygiene Formulations Using the Palmar Surface and Mechanical Hand Sampling

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    Developed by Subcommittee: E35.15 | Committee E35 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method is designed to determine the relative effectiveness of two antimicrobial handwashing agents in reducing transient microorganisms using a controlled handwash. 1.2 Knowledge of microbiological techniques is required for these procedures. 1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. 1.4 This test method may be used to evaluate topical antimicrobial handwash formulations. 1.5 Performance of this procedure requires the knowledge of regulations pertaining to the protection of human subjects2. 1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For more specific precautionary statements see 8.1.


    antimicrobial; contaminant; efficacy; handwash; antisepsis; infection control; mechanical scrubber; marker organism; Escherichia coli


    Evaluation of the efficacy of hand hygiene practices depends on the recovery and estimation of the residual bacteria on hands post washing. Hence the methods used for recovering bacteria from the hands following the intervention are very crucial. This method is an alternative contamination procedure to that listed in E1174. However the contamination procedure described in E1174 does not represent real world hand contamination where predominantly only the palmar surface, comprising palms, fingers, and finger pads of the hands get contaminated by contact with transient microorganisms. This method enables comparison between two formulations on the same volunteer. The method also removes bacteria from the hands using a mechanical scrubber, which recovers more bacteria than conventional recovery methods. Users include producers of hand hygiene products; could be adopted by a government agency

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Carol Vincent