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What Are ASTM Standards, and Why Is E3135 the Future of UV-C Efficacy Testing?

Efficacy Testing and CleanSlate UV

CleanSlate UV is proud to be the most science-backed UV sanitizer for mobile devices. Our products are backed with rigorous, third-party testing to ensure performance. 

Like many industry leaders, we use standardized methods to validate and prove the efficacy against pathogens. With the various types of UV-C sanitization solutions on the market, the availability and legitimacy of testing data is crucial, especially when tackling hard-to-kill hospital superbugs.

Over the last three years, we have used ASTM E1153 as the standard for all our testing. This was helpful because many chemical wipes use the same standard, allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison.

As of 2021, we have switched to using a new industry standard that better fits the rapidly growing UV-C market. Below, you will read why that’s important and how you can use those standards to guide your evaluation of UV-C sanitizer technologies.

So, What are Testing Standards

Industry standards provide unbiased evaluation protocols that clearly layout measurement processes to achieve consistency in the industry. They improve product quality, enhance consumer safety, and are particularly important for rapidly growing industries where it is critical to have all technologies tested in a similar fashion. 

In other words, testing standards allow companies to innovate in their designs and technology while still being compared on the same rubric. 

CleanSlate UV follows the ASTM International Standards Organization, a globally recognized leader in standards development with a mission to improve product quality and ensure consumer confidence. 

Aside from being widely used and accepted, many ASTM Standards are also endorsed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency that regulates antimicrobial claims of devices such as the CleanSlate UV.

ASTM E3135

From initial product development, tests conducted by CleanSlate UV followed several ASTM standards, including ASTM 1153 and ASTM 1053. These tests are recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to effectively assess the performance of antimicrobial sanitization products on non-porous surfaces.1 Strict adherence to these protocols was a key factor in CleanSlate UV setting the bar for product valuation in the UV-C sanitization industry.

As the UV-C sanitization industry continues to expand and evolve, testing efficacy standards have also adapted to the growing need for a guideline that is best fit for its purpose. 

Why CleanSlate UV is using ASTM E3135

Moving forward, in order to provide the best-in-class UV light sanitizers, CleanSlate UV is committed to testing under the ASTM E3135 guideline. This standard, developed in 2018, is specifically designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) against viruses, bacteria, and other microbes.

There are three main reasons why this standard is best for testing a UV-C product compared to current methods:2

  1. UV dosage included. Compared to other standards, the ASTM 3135 determines UVGI dose during testing which is beneficial for determining effectiveness.
  2. Effect of soiling agents. This provides a real-world simulation by adding a simulated “layer” that can block UV light, such as saliva or oils from fingerprints, which are commonly found on surfaces treated by UV-C and could impact the product performance.
  3. Selection of specific microbes. This allows CleanSlate UV to test a wide range of common and dangerous microbes that people encounter in everyday life.

Here we provide a quick comparison between two standards that CleanSlate UV uses:

  ASTM 1153 ASTM 3135
Purpose Chemical Sanitizers and Cleaners UVGI devices (mercury vapor bulbs, light-emitting diodes, or xenon arc lamps) designed to target microorganisms
UV-C Dose determination Not applicable Measure UVGI dosage in the same location as a testing carrier
Soiling Agent 5% Bovine Serum Selected by User
Test organisms Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus Selected by User


Figure 1: The results shown follow ASTM Standards 1153, 1053, 3135, with soil where feasible.

Evaluating UV-C Sanitizers

When evaluating various UV-C sanitizers, we encourage you to look at companies that follow the ASTM E3135 standards. 

This standard will provide a more realistic view of UV product performance, and will also indicate whether the solution product is using the best evaluation measures. However, looking for any type of industry-standard validation is always important. 

We have a white paper regarding the best practices in evaluating UV-C sanitizers that you may find helpful. 

We will continue to strive to exceed industry standards and continue to solidify ourselves as the most science-backed UV-C sanitizer for mobile devices in the market.

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