EN ISO 846:2019 Microbial Growth




Expert Guide to ISO 846:2019: Evaluation of the Action of Microorganisms

ISO 846:2019 Method B provides a detailed protocol for assessing the resistance of plastics and sanitary sealants to fungal growth, making it crucial for products designed for use in high humidity environments. This standard ensures that plastics, sealants, and tubing intended for such conditions are evaluated for their fungistatic (inhibiting fungal growth) and potentially fungicidal (killing fungi) properties.

Through rigorously defined testing procedures, including exposure to specific fungal strains like black mould, ISO 846:2019 Method B verifies that only products capable of withstanding fungal attack are approved for market release, thus safeguarding consumer well-being and preserving the integrity of plastic products.

Importance of ISO 846:2019 Method B for Plastics and Sealants

ISO 846:2019 Method B is essential in certifying the safety and durability of plastics and sealants used in moisture-prone areas, offering:

  • Standardised Fungistatic Measurement: Adherence to ISO 846:2019 Method B ensures accurate evaluation of a material’s ability to resist fungal growth, affirming its protective quality.
  • Public Health Assurance: Products complying with this standard contribute to healthier living environments by preventing the spread of mould and fungi.
  • Validation Under Humid Conditions: This method assesses product efficacy in conditions conducive to fungal proliferation, guaranteeing performance consistency.
  • Comprehensive Fungal Resistance Assessment: ISO 846:2019 Method B subjects products to a range of fungi, providing a thorough analysis of their resistance capabilities.
  • Increased Consumer Confidence: Certification under ISO 846:2019 Method B reassures users of the product’s effectiveness in fungal inhibition, essential for both residential and commercial applications.

Key Components of ISO 846:2019 Method B Testing

ISO 846:2019 Method B encompasses critical elements including fungal growth preparation, resistance evaluation, and outcome assessment:

  • Fungal Growth Preparation: Involves creating a conducive environment for fungal growth, using specific fungal strains and spore solutions to challenge the material.
  • Growth Inhibition and Visual Examination: The product’s surface is examined visually after exposure to assess the extent of fungal growth and rate the fungistatic effect.
  • Fungal Growth Ratings and Outcome: The outcome of the test is used to classify the material’s resistance level, essential for determining the class of sanitary sealants and suitability of plastic products for high humidity environments.

Understanding the Fungistatic Mechanism of Products

Fungistatic agents work by disrupting key processes within fungal cells, such as interfering with the synthesis of essential components of the fungal cell wall or inhibiting critical enzymes involved in the cell’s metabolic pathways. This prevention of fungal growth ensures that materials, especially those used in humid environments, remain free from fungal contamination and degradation.

The efficacy of these fungistatic mechanisms is crucial in maintaining the integrity and longevity of a wide range of products, from construction materials to consumer goods, safeguarding both material value and public health.

ISO 846:2019 Testing Procedure

The testing procedure defined by ISO 846:2019 Method B provides a detailed approach to determining the fungistatic effect of materials:

  • Fungal Suspension Exposure: The procedure involves exposing the material to a spore solution of specific fungi, such as Aspergillus niger, to assess its fungistatic properties.
  • Defined Contact Time: This aspect of the testing mimics real-world conditions, establishing a set period during which the material must resist fungal growth to prove its effectiveness.
  • Fungistatic Activity Measurement: The effectiveness is evaluated through visual examination and fungal growth ratings, quantifying the material’s ability to inhibit fungal growth.

Compliance with ISO 846:2019 Method B protocols allows manufacturers to validate the fungistatic claims of their products, ensuring they provide adequate protection against fungi in environments with high humidity.

ISO 846:2019 Test Report

An ISO 846:2019 Method B test report meticulously documents the fungistatic efficacy of materials, serving as a critical document for manufacturers, regulatory bodies, and consumers:

  • Identification of Test Sample: Provides details on the material tested, including its composition and any antifungal treatments applied.
  • Test Organisms Used: Lists the fungi used in the test, often including black mould and other strains, to represent a wide spectrum of fungal threats.
  • Testing Methodology: Outlines the specific procedures followed, ensuring alignment with ISO 846:2019 standards for accuracy and reliability.
  • Results of Fungistatic Activity: Presents data on the material’s resistance to fungal growth, using growth inhibition and visual examination for a comprehensive measure of effectiveness.
  • Conclusion and Recommendations: Summarises the material’s performance in resisting fungal attack, offering insights for potential improvements or confirming its compliance.
  • Certification of Compliance: If applicable, includes a statement affirming that the material meets or exceeds the criteria set by ISO 846:2019 for fungistatic effectiveness.

This structured report format supports manufacturers in substantiating the fungistatic properties of their products, promoting transparency and establishing trust with consumers and regulatory authorities.

Interpreting Test Results: Criteria for Effectiveness

Evaluating the results of the ISO 846:2019 Method B test entails analysing the material’s capacity to prevent fungal growth. An effective fungistatic material is one that shows no or minimal fungal development, as evidenced by favourable fungal growth ratings. The absence of growth or a significant reduction compared to untreated controls, typically classified within specific classes of resistance, indicates efficacy under the standard’s parameters.

ISO 846:2019 Method B in Product Promotion

Compliance with ISO 846:2019 Method B offers substantial benefits for manufacturers of plastics and sealants intended for use in environments prone to fungal growth, significantly enhancing their product promotion strategies.

Gaining Competitive Advantage

In the competitive landscape of materials designed for high humidity and moisture-prone environments, establishing consumer confidence is crucial. ISO 846:2019 Method B certification equips manufacturers with a pivotal competitive advantage by:

  • Quality Assurance: Adherence to ISO 846:2019 Method B demonstrates a commitment to excellence, indicating that materials have undergone stringent fungistatic and fungicidal testing.
  • Meeting Consumer Demand: This certification aligns with increasing consumer demand for products resistant to mould and fungal degradation, rendering certified products more appealing to those emphasising health and durability.
  • Establishing Trust: Obtaining ISO 846:2019 Method B certification fosters consumer trust, enhancing brand loyalty and promoting repeat business by verifying the materials’ resistance to fungal growth.
  • Enhancing Market Position: Certification signifies that a product is of high quality and reliable in moist or humid conditions, offering a significant advantage in the marketplace.

Enhancing Product Credibility

In the industry of materials used in high humidity areas, the ability to resist fungal growth is a paramount concern for users. ISO 846:2019 Method B certification bolsters the credibility of plastics and sealants, strengthening consumer confidence by:

  • Safety and Efficacy Validation: Obtaining certification under ISO 846:2019 Method B serves as tangible evidence of a product’s effectiveness against fungi, backed by thorough testing.
  • Broad-Spectrum Fungal Resistance: Materials certified with ISO 846:2019 Method B are recognized for their capacity to withstand various fungal threats, ensuring comprehensive protection.
  • Verification of Regulatory Adherence: Achieving ISO 846:2019 Method B certification underscores a product’s compliance with rigorous health and safety standards, reassuring customers of its quality and reliability.

Advancing with ISO 846:2019 Method B

ISO 846:2019 Method B is a critical standard for evaluating the resistance of plastics and sealants to fungal attacks, playing an essential role in maintaining material integrity and public health in damp environments. It lays down a solid foundation for testing and validating the fungistatic and fungicidal properties of these materials, supporting the upkeep of high sanitary standards in various applications.

As the awareness of and need for mould-resistant materials continue to grow demonstrated by the global sealants market being expected to reach nearly £12 billion by 2028 (Mordor Intelligence), ISO 846:2019 Method B certification becomes increasingly vital.

Moving forward, as new fungal strains emerge and environmental conditions evolve, ISO 846:2019 Method B will need to adapt to continue providing effective guidelines for material resistance. The success of plastics and sealants in these environments relies on their proven resistance to fungi, guided by the benchmarks set in ISO 846:2019 Method B.

Manufacturers adhering to these standards not only contribute to healthier, more durable living spaces but also position themselves as market leaders, highlighting the significance of ISO 846:2019 Method B in promoting safer, more resilient products.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is ISO 846:2019 Method B?

ISO 846:2019 Method B is an international standard that defines procedures for evaluating the fungistatic (inhibiting fungal growth) effect of plastics and other materials used in environments prone to high humidity. It aims to determine materials’ resistance to fungi under controlled conditions, promoting durability and health safety.

What is the ISO 846:2019 Method B procedure?

The ISO 846:2019 Method B procedure involves exposing materials to fungal spores, such as Aspergillus niger and Candida albicans, under specified conditions. It assesses the materials’ ability to prevent fungal growth, evaluated through visual examination and growth ratings.

What types of products require ISO 846:2019 Method B testing?

ISO 846:2019 Method B testing is essential for plastics, sanitary sealants, plastic tubing, and any plastic products designed for use in high humidity environments. These materials are tested to ensure they can withstand fungal growth, maintaining their integrity and ensuring user safety.

How does ISO 846:2019 Method B testing benefit manufacturers and consumers?

For manufacturers, ISO 846:2019 Method B testing validates the fungistatic efficacy of their products, enhancing market competitiveness and product reliability. Consumers benefit by receiving products proven to resist fungal growth, contributing to healthier living and working environments.

How can companies achieve ISO 846:2019 Method B certification?

Companies can obtain ISO 846:2019 Method B certification by collaborating with accredited testing laboratories that specialise in fungal resistance testing. The process involves rigorous evaluation of the product against the standard’s criteria, ensuring it meets or exceeds the established thresholds for fungal resistance.


Link to standards issuing body  ISO website - ISO 846:2019

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