New Test Method Aims to Decontaminate Planes

A new ASTM International test method aims to help improve aircraft decontamination processes. The new standard (E3092) was developed by ASTM International’s committee on pesticides, antimicrobials, and alternative control agents (E35).

The test method describes how to measure inactivation of Bacillus spores using hot, humid air. Bacillus spores can come from insecticidal applications, natural environmental contamination or contamination from a terrorist attack. Bacillus spores are also used as biological indicators to measure the success of decontamination processes.

“The technology and the tests were developed for aircraft decontamination,” says ASTM International member Alice Young. “However, the standard has broad application to sensitive material decontamination not related to aircraft as well.”

Young notes that the standard could potentially be modified to test for other organisms, such as potential pandemic viruses, including influenza and Ebola.


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