ASTM Committee Creates Copper Antimicrobial Applications Task Group

ASTM International Committee B05 on Copper and Copper Alloys has created a new task group, TG9018, which will be focused on the Antimicrobial Applications of Copper and Copper Alloys. The task group was formed following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's announcement of its registration of copper alloys as antimicrobial materials with specific health claims.

According to James Michel, Copper Development Association, and chair of the new B05 task group, the mission of TG9018 will be to share current research, activity, product applications, and registration activities surrounding antimicrobial aspects of copper as they relate to changes in current B05 product standards or require the development of new standards.

The EPA registration notes that copper, brass, and bronze are capable of killing harmful, potentially deadly bacteria. The registration is based on independent laboratory testing under EPA-prescribed protocols that demonstrates the metals' ability to kill specific disease-causing bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The registration has implications for the use of copper and copper alloys in such hospital equipment as door and furniture hardware, bed rails, intravenous stands, dispensers, faucets, sinks, and work stations.

The new B05 task group is under the jurisdiction of B05's executive subcommittee (B05.90). All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards developing activities of Committee B05.

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