Antimicrobial Fabric and Textile Testing
Posted by Anthony Lewis on October 7th, 2021
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is reckoned as one of the important tasks performed by a reputable microbiology laboratory. The goals of the testing are to detect possible drug resistance in common pathogens and to assure susceptibility to drugs of choice for specific infections.
Antimicrobial treatment of fabric today becomes a popular property in many products such as home textiles, sportswear and intimates wear along with other outdoor products including tents and backpacks.
Laboratories conducting such tests understand federal and state antimicrobial product regulations and work with clients to bring new products to market quickly and cost-effectively. Further, leading microbial lab experts help to recognize opportunities for antimicrobial fabrics and textiles that existed earlier.
Introduction To The Regulation & Testing Of Antimicrobial Fabrics And Textiles In The USA
Most of the antimicrobial textiles in the USA use active ingredients that are EPA-registered and restrict claims to \"object protection\" and odor control instead of health protection. Therefore the products comply with EPA\'s Pesticide Registration Notice 2000-1, which is popularly known as the Treated Article Exemption. Companies that comply with the treated article exemption should not require producing efficacy data to EPA prior to marketing products and can free to conducting with test methods they like.
The test methods implemented for antimicrobial surface efficacy test are sensitive to antimicrobial activity. Methods like ISO 22196 and ASTM E2149 can detect the low-level antimicrobial properties.
The limitation of some of the most popular antimicrobial surface testing methods concludes that they do not reflect exposures to microorganisms in genuine settings.Let\'s say, in case of ASTM E2149, antmicrobial surfaces become submerged in inoculated water and then shaken briskly for about an hour, sometimes it happens up to hours.
In case of ISO 22196, evaporation of the dilute inoculum can be avoided if it is covered with plastic. Considering both the tests, it is seen that the water in the test system bolsters the reaction between microorganisms and antimicrobial agents.
In reality, most antimicrobial surfaces do not get covered with water for over some minutes. For example, contaminated droplets of one\'s sneeze.
In actual use, most antimicrobial surfaces are not covered with water for more than a few minutes. From the very beginning, the microorganisms are in contact with the antimicrobial surface and water; however, a few minutes later the microorganisms dry to a film.
Antimicrobial surfaces put out effects quickly over a period of time or at a slower pacebut on dry microbial films.For agencies with promising technologies, registration of the antimicrobial surface as a pesticide might be valuable.
The test methods are more realistic and competitive to pass but the rewards of being able to make so-called health claims in commerce are great. Thus far, only select copper-containing surfaces have been registered as antimicrobial surfaces with health claims.
Antimicrobial Textile & Fabric Test Methods
The methods described below include:
• AATCC 100 (Test for Antimicrobial Fabrics)
• JIS L 1902 (Japanese Standard Test for Antimicrobial Textiles)
• ISO 20743 (Determination of Antibacterial Activity of Textile Products)
• ASTM E2149 (\"Shake Flask\" Test for Antimicrobial Surfaces and Textiles)
• AATCC 147 (Antimicrobial Fabric Zone of Inhibition Test)
• ASTM E2180 (Standard test Method for Determining the Activity of Incoporated Antimicrobial Agents in Polymeric or Hydrophobic Materials)
About Antimicrobial Fabric Testing
Most fabric odors are generated when microorganisms transform normal components of sweat to odiferous compounds. As a result, antimicrobial treatment of textiles confers real, observable benefits to consumers by controlling odors.
In fact, certain antimicrobial sports apparel can be worn several days consecutively before odor emerges. Antimicrobial additives also offer benefits to socks, undergarments, and outdoor gear that is frequently exposed to water.
Since odor prevention on fabrics depends on inhibition of growth rather than on killing microorganisms, it is accurate to utilize sensitive antimicrobial test methods. ISO 20743 and AATCC 100 are most popular. In the laboratory\'s experience, products that demonstrate consistent performance in these methods prove resistant to odors during ordinary use.
Anthony Lewis is a professional writer having deep interest in scientific innovations. In addition, he has been imparting training on personality development in various institutes as guest faculty. For over three years, Lewis has been penning informative pieces on Antimicrobial testing and Microbiological testing laboratory of Biosan Laboratories Inc.