Antimicrobial Testing Program
Current as of February 2014
This Web page describes EPA's Antimicrobial Testing Program, lists products that have been tested and summarizes program results.
On This Page
- Program Overview
- Testing Results [Updated February 2014]
- What if a Product Fails?
- Only Primary Registered Products are Tested
- ATP Test Methods & Procedures
The EPA's Antimicrobial Testing Program ensures that EPA-approved hospital sterilants, disinfectants and tuberculocides in the marketplace continue to meet stringent efficacy standards. Under the ATP, the agency collects and tests samples of EPA-registered products from manufacturers, distributors and sellers of hospital sterilants, disinfectants and tuberculocides. The ATP’s efficacy test methods provide a rigorous challenge to the product, as the level of bacteria used in the tests are at least 1,000 times greater than the contamination level typically found on surfaces in health care facilities. The EPA adopted this high standard to ensure that products will be effective even when extremely high pathogen levels are present.
Hospital sterilants, disinfectants and tuberculocides that do not meet the ATP standard are brought into compliance through regulatory or enforcement measures.
List of ATP-tested Hospital Sterilants, Disinfectants and Tuberculocides (PDF) (21 pp, 899.25 k) includes all products that have been tested in the program. Note that disinfectant products with public health claims must be effective against both Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to meet agency registration efficacy standards for use as a hospital disinfectant. In addition, hospital disinfectants that have tuberculocidal claims must be effective against Mycobacterium bovis BCG.
If a product does not meet post-registration efficacy standards under the ATP, the EPA will determine the appropriate action to be taken. Options used individually or in combination to bring the product into compliance include:
- Removal of hospital disinfectant or tuberculocidal claims from the product’s label. The registrant must contact the agency to discuss options for relabeling the product.
- Voluntary manufacturer cancellation of the product registration.
- EPA initiates removal of the product from the market place (i.e., stop sale orders.)
The ATP tests only “primary” registered hospital sterilants, disinfectants and tuberculocides. The registrant of each primary product must provide the product efficacy data that supports tens and sometimes hundreds of "supplemental distributor" products. However, distributor products are not included in the ATP list. Distributor products frequently use different brand names, but the EPA Reg. No. of a product is more useful than its brand name for identifying the primary EPA-registered product.
You can identify distributor products by their three-part EPA Reg. No. The first two parts of the EPA Reg. No. identifies the primary registrant and the product. A third set of numbers that represents the Distributor or Relabeler ID number. For example, EPA Reg. No. 12345-12-2567 is a distributor product for the primary product with EPA Reg. No. 12345-12.
The ATP test methods and procedures are based on standards maintained and published by the Association of Analytical Chemists International, a standard-setting organization. The challenge microorganisms used to determine the effectiveness of hospital disinfectants are Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and for tuberculocides, Mycobacterium bovis BCG. Read more about EPA's standard operating procedures for ATP testing.
The agency will be using the revised (2013) performance standard for the AOAC Use-dilution Methods (PDF) (3 pp, 105 k, About PDF) for Staphylococcus aureus (955.15) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (964.02).