Moves are underway to standardise the methods of testing antibacterial finishes on textile products via a working group convened by Japan.

The first standard to be drafted will specify quantitative methods to determine the effectiveness of antibacterial activity of textile and nonwoven products.

A number of methods and national standards are being considered in developing the ISO standard, including quantitative antibacterial assessments (eg AATCC100, JIS L 1902); qualitative antibacterial assessments (eg SNV195 920, AATCC 147); and antifungal assessments (eg BS6085, AATCC 30, SNV195 921).

The initial work programme is scheduled to take 3 years, and should be completed in 2004.