SteriTouch® uses only established laboratories specialising in antimicrobial testing, ensuring consistent and repeatable results.
Laboratory testing of products containing SteriTouch® additives is provided free of charge for at least the initial qualification process and in many instances we will continue this service for batch testing as the products enter volume production.
The standard test for evaluating the performance of antimicrobial surfaces is the JIS Z 2801:2000 or ISO 22196 method.
Testing is conducted according to these globally recognised standards, although for certain product types, such as fabrics, more appropriate methods may be adopted.
All products are routinely tested against MRSA and E.Coli, although testing can be carried out against a range of other organisms, including streptococcus, salmonella, pseudomonas, legionella, aspergillus and candida.
We have access to independent laboratories which specialise in testing against specific organisms, so you can make substantiated claims about your products, backed up with independent test results.
History of silver as an antimicrobial
Silver has been used for centuries for its non-toxic, antimicrobial properties.
Around 400BC, Hippocrates taught that silver healed wounds and controlled disease, while the American Pioneers would put a silver dollar into containers of milk to keep it fresh without refrigeration. World War 1 soldiers relied on silver-embedded bandages to prevent infection and promote healing.
With increasing concern over bacterial resistance to antibiotics, many products in healthcare have adopted silver-based coatings as a preventative measure to reduce cross contamination.
A broad range of companies worldwide are now using SteriTouch® ionic silver additives in a wide variety of everyday consumer products to offer increased performance – as well as the antibacterial effect, additives will prevent degradation, mould growth, odours and staining.
Although ionic silver forms the basis of most of our additives, we work with many other active ingredients which might be more effective in your application.
With our in-house capabilities we can select the most appropriate additive for your material and swiftly develop custom solutions.
All of the active components we use are approved by the FDA and EFSA for food contact.
We do not use additives with potential health or environmental concerns such as Triclosan or nano-scale particles.
Many of our customers use SteriTouch® additives and masterbatches in applications where safety is paramount.
The Lovi Baby infant drinking cup, The Wean Machine and Mothercare’s high chair trays are great examples of products in which antimicrobial technology provides an obvious benefit, but safety and legislative compliance is just as important.
Case Study – Remote control handset for hotel rooms
One of our clients manufactures remote control devices and some time ago they asked what the health implications would be of a small child chewing one of their antimicrobial handsets. We sought independent advice and using the World Health Organisation limits for silver intake (reduced to account for lower body mass) calculated that a child could eat, in its entirety, one remote control handset every month for a year, absorbing every particle of silver, and still remain under the WHO annual limit.
In practice, since the silver is held within a carrier material which is then encapsulated within a polymer, the opportunity to absorb even a small proportion of the silver held within the remote is negligible.
Regulatory and Legislative
The active components employed in our additives (i.e. those which impart the antimicrobial properties) fall within the scope of the BPR (Biocidal Products Regulations) and are exempt from REACH. All other components are REACH compliant.
All active components used by SteriTouch® are being supported through to inclusion in Annex 1 of the BPR. We ensure that you will be using additives with support in the Product Types appropriate for your specific products and applications.
Certain governing bodies such as the FDA and EFSA in North America have stricter rules over products which make healthcare claims.
We can assist you with your marketing collateral and will advise on the claims which can be made according to the countries you’re supplying into. We also have specialist contacts in these countries, who can offer you specific regulatory advice and make sure any claims are watertight.