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March/April 2011

Antimicrobial Agents

Subcommittee E35.15 on Antimicrobial Agents, part of ASTM International Committee E35 on Pesticides and Alternative Control Agents, has recently approved two new standards that will primarily be used by manufacturers of hand soaps and contract testing laboratories.

The first of these standards, E2783, Test Method for Assessment of Antimicrobial Activity for Water Miscible Compounds Using a Time-Kill Procedure, measures the change in a microbial population at predetermined time points when testing against antimicrobial products. Use of the test method will facilitate the development of kinetic models.

Although a guide for a time kill procedure does exist (E2315, Guide for Assessment of Antimicrobial Activity Using a Time-Kill Procedure), E2783 is the first ASTM test method to cover the topic.

“By having a standardized, validated method, results between laboratories can be more easily compared,” says Andrea Waggoner, senior scientist, Henkel Consumer Goods Inc., and a member of E35.

The second approved standard is E2784, Test Method for Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Handwash Formulations Using the Paper Towel (Palmar) Method of Hand Contamination. Impetus for the development of E2784 came from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee, which recommended that consumer antibacterial handwashing products should demonstrate a reduction in infection compared to non-antibacterial hand wash products.

“E2784 mimics real world hand contamination in which only the palms, fingers and fingerpads become contaminated with transient microorganisms,” says Waggoner. “These microorganisms can then be transferred to food or objects. E2784 can be used to simulate and enumerate the transfer of microorganisms to food or objects.”


Technical Information: Andrea Waggoner, Henkel Consumer Goods Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.

Phone: 480-754-6242

ASTM Staff: Jennifer Rodgers

Phone: 610-832-9694