ASTM E2870 Evaluating Relative Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Handwashing Formulations Using the Palmar Surface and Mechanical Hand Sampling 

The ASTM E870 method is designed to evaluate how effectively health care hand washes inactivate transient bacteria over all surfaces of the hands and fingers using a process that simulates real-world bacterial exposure and hand wash use in clinical settings. This method typically compares the activity of two hand wash formulations simultaneously on the same subject under the same controlled conditions. The objective of this method is to determine the relative difference between two products tested on the same subject, rather than to determine absolute product efficacy. By testing both products at the same time on the same subjects with the same bacterial inoculum, variability is reduced. 


This test is conducted using the healthy hands of study participants who have not used antimicrobial products for at least one week before testing. Following an initial decontamination with a 70% ethanol solution, the participants' hands are then thoroughly inoculated with a test microorganism (such as Escherichia coli).

Once inoculated, each hand is randomly assigned to either a reference or test article, and products are applied to the palms of the hands for the investigational hand wash according to the Sponsor's use instructions. The subject's hands are then placed into bags with sampling solution (often supplemented with a chemical neutralizer), and massaged uniformly by placing the palmar surface of the hands on the panels of a mechanical scrubbing device. Surviving microorganisms are recovered after the mechanical scrubber homogenizes the sampling solution in the bags with massage. These bacteria are enumerated using standard microbiological techniques, and the average number of microorganisms recovered following testing are calculated. 

The effectiveness of the hand wash under evaluation is determined by comparing the number of microorganisms recovered from the hand after the use of the test article to the number of microorganisms recovered from the hand which was exposed to the reference hand wash product. 


Vivo Clinical Testing was founded in 2017 by Dr. Benjamin Tanner, a respected microbiologist and owner of Microchem Laboratory, and is staffed by many experienced Microchem Laboratory employees.  Vivo is committed to providing the same high testing standards that have been demonstrated by Microchem Laboratory since 1988.

Vivo Clinical Testing Is:

A contract testing laboratory designed to support the hand hygiene and infection control industry. Testing is carried out in compliance with current FDA, Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) regulations by skilled, experienced microbiologists and chemists, to quickly meet your project testing goals.

Vivo Clinical Testing Is:

An FDA GLP and GCP-compliant testing organization staffed by skilled, experienced microbiologists and subject recruiters.  Vivo can help speed your project to completion.

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