A longtime need for better standardization and testing of sporicides has led to the approval of a new ASTM International standard, E 2414, Test Method for Quantitative Sporicidal Three-Step Method (TSM) to Determine Sporicidal Efficacy of Liquids and Vapor or Gases on Contaminated Carrier Surfaces. The newly approved test method, under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E54.03 on Decontamination, is the second standard approved by Committee E54 on Homeland Security Applications.
According to Jose-Luis Sagripanti, senior scientific advisor, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, the three-step method outlined in Test Method E 2414 has several advantages over other past and current sporicidal methods. The TSM is:
- Quantitative. Efficacy is measured as a number in contrast to growth-no growth.
- Rapid. Results are read after overnight incubation, instead of a 30-day wait.
- Economical. Used carrier surfaces are inexpensive enough to be disposable.
- Flexible. The test is mainly intended to evaluate decontaminating or sporicidal agents, but it can also compare the sensitivity of different microbes or the effect of different surfaces or materials.
- Environmentally friendly. Because it is a micro method that uses small volumes, the test produces much less biological waste than other methods.
The TSM has been used to evaluate decontaminant agents and practices of potential use for the U.S. Department of Defense. TSM testing has been done in connection with anthrax attacks and during ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now that Test Method E 2414 has been approved, it is likely that the applications for TSM will expand to civilian use. "The three-step method has applications for an important commercial segment that needs testing and evaluation of decontaminant, sporicidal and sterilant agents for defense, food processing and medical applications, as well as for bactericidal soaps, lotions, cleaners, paints and many other products for household and commercial use that can involve microbicidal activity," says Sagripanti. Sagripanti also notes that interested parties are invited to participate in future revisions of E 2414.
For further technical information, contact Jose-Luis Sagripanti, senior technical advisor for biochemistry, Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Bel Air, Md. (phone: 410/436-3431; email@example.com). Committee E54 meets Feb. 6-8, in New Orleans, La. For membership or meeting details, contact Pat Picariello, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9720; firstname.lastname@example.org).