EPA issued a Pesticide Registration Notice in 2000 titled “Applicability of the Treated Articles Exemption to Antimicrobial Pesticides,” which clarified rules for objects treated with antimicrobial agents.  To comply with the exemption, only EPA registered active-ingredients may be used and efficacy claims must focus on protection of the treated article rather than protection of consumers from microorganisms or infection.  Microbiologists at ATL are often asked the following questions with regard to EPA’s TAE:

  • Which standard method should be used?
  • What test microorganisms should be evaluated?
  • Are there efficacy requirements to make claims?

Various standard methods and microorganisms may be used to test treated articles.  ISO, JIS, ASTM and AATCC have all published appropriate test methods.  Antimicrobial Test Laboratories’ staff will help your company select the best test for a given product.

Since treated articles are exempt from registration, manufacturers are responsible for setting sensible efficacy standards and making appropriate claims. From the lab’s perspective, a 99% reduction compared to an untreated control object is reasonable.

For more information on the TAE, visit our website and play the “Claim Game.”  Contact the lab if you have any questions.