ECR Policies



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The following policies have been defined by the AATCC Executive Committee on Research (ECR).

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Referencing Home Laundering Parameters in AATCC Test Methods, revised

Date Enacted: February 5, 2016

(Supersedes “Referencing Home Laundering Parameters in AATCC Test Methods,” enacted May 15, 2015)

Policy: The previous policy is reversed. Laundering temperatures will remain in AATCC test methods. The following note will be added to relevant test methods and Monograph 6.

Laundering temperatures and other parameters listed in Monograph (M) 6 may not be the same as those listed in various test methods. Parameters in M6 are updated periodically to reflect consumer experience, taking into account current technology and regulations regarding home water heater temperatures, particularly in the United States.

Typically, test method committees pursue a deliberate effort to maintain the same test method conditions over a long period of time in order to produce comparable results over time. Additionally, significant changes may invalidate precision data developed using the original conditions.

Temperatures listed in AATCC test methods were established at the time the methods were developed or revised, and closely mirror the temperature ranges specified in 16 CFR Part 423 for care labels. It should also be noted that AATCC test methods were developed using traditional top loading washing machines. Specified water level, detergent, and other details are not applicable to high efficiency top loading or front loading machines. New, commercially available home laundering machines may have to be modified by the user to meet the specifications in various test methods. All test reports should indicate the exact testing conditions, and any modification of the standard method, including use of M6 parameters. Results of tests performed with different conditions may not be comparable.

Referencing Home Laundering Parameters in AATCC Test Methods

Date Enacted: May 15, 2015

(Superseded by “Referencing Home Laundering Parameters in AATCC Test Methods, revised,” enacted February 5, 2016)

Policy: To ensure that home laundering conditions are the same for all relevant AATCC test methods, these methods should reference Monograph (M) 6, Standardization of Home Laundry Test Conditions.

Existing relevant test methods should be revised as soon as possible to remove tables and text referring to specific wash temperatures and other parameters included in M6.

All new or existing test methods referring to home laundering shall include the statement, “Information on the machine and laundering conditions is found in the AATCC Monograph 6, Standardization of Home Laundry Test Conditions (see www.aatcc.org for the latest version of the monograph.)”

Revisions to existing home laundering test methods developed by RA42, Dimensional Changes Test Methods, and RA61, Appearance Retention Test Methods, should be balloted for inclusion in the 2016 AATCC Technical Manual.

Revisions to existing home laundering test methods developed by other research committees should be prepared and balloted for inclusion in the 2017 AATCC Technical Manual.

Reference to Patented Items in AATCC Test Methods and Evaluation Procedures in the AATCC Technical Manual

(This policy requires a form to be completed at time of development. Form is available from the Technical Director at the AATCC Technical Center.)

Date Enacted: November 13, 2012

Policy: The Patent Policy requires the early disclosure and identification of Patents that may relate to test methods under development or revision. By doing so, potential patent rights issues can be avoided. AATCC shall not be involved in evaluating patent relevance with regards to test method development, interfere with licensing negotiations, or engage in settling disputes on Patents. This shall be left to the parties concerned.

Listing of Equipment and Materials for AATCC Test Methods and Evaluation Procedures in the AATCC Technical Manual

(Supersedes “Listing of Equipment and Materials for AATCC Test Methods and Evaluation Procedures Effective with the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual,” enacted May 2, 2007.)

Date Enacted: January 22, 2010

Policy: Effective with the printing of the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual, it will be the policy of AATCC to include in AATCC test methods and evaluation procedures commercial names and specific products of only those items supplied directly by AATCC or that are deemed to be generic in nature, such as chemical reagents, laboratory glassware, weighing balances, and other materials not considered to be a competitive product. For those items for which there is only one known source, that source may continue to be listed. Once a second source makes itself known to the Association, then the original listing will be pulled at the next printing of the method.

As mentioned above, the editorial changes to delete equipment and materials from individual test methods, evaluation procedures and monographs will commence with the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual. In some cases, additional information and specifications may be needed once the listings are removed to aid the reader in understanding the procedure. These changes will be considered editorial and prepared by the AATCC staff in the development of the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual. However, it is possible that additional changes will be necessary. It is anticipated that all methods and evaluation procedures will undergo the changes to meet the requirements of this new policy, at least by the time of the next required five-year periodic review.

In rare cases, the Association has prescribed certain models of equipment such as home washing and drying machines which are listed on our web site. The listings of these devices are made for the convenience of users of these methods. Consumer appliance manufacturers of these machines are primarily concerned with differentiating their products against competitors’ commercial products on the market, and are not overly concerned with providing a standard model that will remain the same over a number of years for testing purposes. The Association makes attempts to inform the users of these methods with the model numbers of these machines that most closely maintain the performance characteristic originally desired in the methods and listed in the Standardization of Home Laundry Test Conditions monograph in the AATCC Technical Manual. The listing of these specific models on its web site is not an endorsement by the Association of one commercial brand over another.

The Association encourages AATCC Corporate Members to list testing equipment and materials in the on-line AATCC Buyers Guide at www.aatcc.org. Only AATCC Corporate Members are allowed to list in the Buyers Guide, but there are many benefit packages for AATCC Corporate Membership available, with lower levels available so as not to preclude any company from participating. There are no additional fees for listing as many products as desired. In pertinent test methods and evaluation procedures, the reader will be referred to the equipment listings in the on-line AATCC Buyer’s Guide on the AATCC web site. These listings are not AATCC endorsements.

The Association is adopting this new policy as a means to promote fairness among all interested suppliers of equipment and materials that might be used in AATCC test methods and evaluation procedures, and to bring the Association’s policies regarding these matters in line with other standards development organizations. As these test methods and evaluation procedures are voluntary standards that may be utilized between interested parties, the Association encourages all parties to agree to specific equipment and materials used to perform these test methods and evaluation procedures. Further, the Association recommends that the specific equipment, including model number, be used when reporting test results.

The Association will make no attempt to police the worldwide manufacturers and suppliers of testing equipment and materials used in AATCC test methods and evaluation procedures. The Association encourages all users of its test methods and evaluation procedures to become knowledgeable of suppliers of these products and to understand that the Association endorses no products other than its own.

New Voting Policy for Executive Committee on Research Members

Date Enacted: November 11, 2008

Policy: There has been a revision to the Constitution and By-laws that states that no more than one person from a company shall be a voting member of ECR during any one term of office. AATCC staff members will consult with both members of the same company and record which member will cast the vote during that term.

Listing of Equipment and Materials for AATCC Test Methods and Evaluation Procedures Effective with the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual

Date Enacted: May 2, 2007

(Supersedes “Listing Equipment in AATCC Test Methods,” enacted November 14, 1989 & modified November 16, 1993.)

(Superseded by “Listing of Equipment and Materials for AATCC Test Methods and Evaluation Procedures in the AATCC Technical Manual,” enacted January 22, 2010.)

Policy: Effective with the printing of the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual, it will be the policy of AATCC to include in AATCC test methods and evaluation procedures commercial names and specific products of only those items supplied directly by AATCC or that are deemed to be generic in nature, such as chemical reagents, laboratory glassware, weighing balances, and other materials not considered to be a competitive product. For those items for which there is only one known source, that source may continue to be listed. Once a second source makes itself known to the Association, then the original listing will be pulled at the next printing of the method.

As mentioned above, the editorial changes to delete equipment and materials from individual test methods, evaluation procedures and monographs will commence with the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual. In some cases, additional information and specifications may be needed once the listings are removed to aid the reader in understanding the procedure. These changes will be considered editorial and prepared by the AATCC staff in the development of the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual. However, it is possible that additional changes will be necessary. It is anticipated that all methods and evaluation procedures will undergo the changes to meet the requirements of this new policy, at least by the time of the next required five-year periodic review.

In rare cases, the Association has prescribed certain models of equipment such as home washing and drying machines which are listed on our web site. The listings of these devices are made for the convenience of users of these methods. Manufacturers of these machines are primarily concerned with differentiating their products against competitors’ commercial products on the market, and are not overly concerned with providing a standard model that will remain the same over a number of years for testing purposes. The Association makes attempts to inform the users of these methods with the model numbers of these machines that most closely maintain the performance characteristic originally desired in the methods and listed in the Standardization of Home Laundry Test Conditions monograph in the AATCC Technical Manual. The listing of these specific models on its web site is not an endorsement by the Association of one commercial brand over another.

The Association encourages AATCC Corporate Members to list testing equipment and materials in the on-line AATCC Buyers Guide at www.aatcc.org. Only AATCC Corporate Members are allowed to list in the Buyers Guide, but there are many benefit packages for AATCC Corporate Membership available, with lower levels available so as not to preclude any company from participating. There are no additional fees for listing as many products as desired. In pertinent test methods and evaluation procedures, the reader will be referred to the equipment listings in the on-line AATCC Buyer’s Guide on the AATCC web site. These listings are not AATCC endorsements.

The Association is adopting this new policy as a means to promote fairness among all interested suppliers of equipment and materials that might be used in AATCC test methods and evaluation procedures, and to bring the Association’s policies regarding these matters in line with other standards development organizations. As these test methods and evaluation procedures are voluntary standards that may be utilized between interested parties, the Association encourages all parties to agree to specific equipment and materials used to perform these test methods and evaluation procedures. Further, the Association recommends that the specific equipment, including model number, be used when reporting test results.

The Association will make no attempt to police the worldwide manufacturers and suppliers of testing equipment and materials used in AATCC test methods and evaluation procedures. The Association encourages all users of its test methods and evaluation procedures to become knowledgeable of suppliers of these products and to understand that the Association endorses no products other than its own.

Guidelines for the Composition of Symposia Steering Committees, and Speakers and Moderators for Workshops and Symposia.

Date Enacted: May 1, 2000

Policy: The composition of any given steering committee should be limited to one representative from any given company or organization. Only three representatives from any given company or organization should be asked to participate in the capacity of speaker or moderator of any given symposium or workshop (i.e., two speakers and one moderator, two moderators and one speaker, etc.).

In the event of any last minute speaker cancellations, limited industry experts on a given topic, availability of speakers or proximity logistics, these guidelines will not have to be followed.

This action was subsequently approved by the Council at its meeting of May 3, 2000.

Negatives on Ballots for Test Method Reaffirmation Cast Because of Lack of Precision and Bias Statements

Date Enacted: May 25, 1999

Policy: A motion was made and approved that test methods requiring reaffirmation that do not contain a precision statement meeting the requirements of Section 2.20 of the AATCC Style Guide for Writing Test Methods be retained in the AATCC Technical Manual even though they have negative votes on precision and bias on reaffirmation ballots. This should be a policy of ECR that would supersede the requirements of the Rules of Procedure and the AATCC Style Guide as long as any ballot for test method reaffirmation receives a majority of the votes cast favoring the reaffirmation. This motion was subsequently presented to the Council at its meeting on May 27, 1999 and was approved.

American National Standards Institute Submittals

Date Enacted: November 14, 1995

Policy: For several meetings dating back to February 1994 discussion has been held about the relative value of submitting AATCC test methods to ANSI. This has resulted in over 50 methods that are past due for ANSI reaffirmation. Additionally, a recent letter from ANSI has indicated an audit program will be initiated that could cost the Association more than $15,000. After considerable discussion a motion passed unanimously that AATCC discontinue submitting AATCC methods to ANSI.

Precision and Bias Statements

Date Enacted: November 19, 1991

Policy: A review of the type statements present in test methods and the number of tests for each type statement were reviewed. Concern was expressed that if test methods are eliminated because they do not contain proper precision and bias statements, a large number of test methods will be dropped from the Technical Manual. The adoption of RA102, Statistics Advisory, letter ballot proposals 91-5 and 91-6 [see below] could lead to this situation. It was finally decided that RA102 should review this situation further and perhaps change the scope of their committee if necessary. Also, non-linear data should be collected and procedures developed for providing committees with guidelines for working with this data. A motion was made and accepted that Item 2.21.7 in the AATCC Style Guide for Writing Test Methods should be changed to replace the statement “The precision and bias of this test method are being established” to “The precision and bias of this test method have not been established.” This change should be made in the 1993 AATCC Technical Manual for all applicable methods except those in which it is known that precision and bias statements are definitely being worked on. In the meantime, should methods that are up for reaffirmation receive negative votes because of the lack of precision and bias statements, these will not be considered.

[91-5 Where appropriate, test methods first published after 1985 that are proposed for reaffirmation must include, as a minimum, a statement of within lab standard deviation. If a precision and bias statement has not been developed within the five year period since the test method was first published, the test method will be withdrawn until such data are available. One year will be given to prepare the precision and bias statements.] [91-6 Where appropriate, test methods published before 1985 that are proposed for reaffirmation should include, as a minimum, a statement of standard deviation and coefficient of variation resulting from performance of the test as specified in the method.].

Disqualification of ECR and Executive Committee Members on Matters Involving Personal Interest

Date Enacted: February 13, 1990

Policy: The Rules of Procedure for AATCC Test Method and Technology Committees, Article G-Letter Ballots, was changed to reflect this policy as follows:

G3 C Disqualifications and Challenges.

G3.1 Members of ECR and the Executive Committee of the Council shall disqualify themselves when appeals are made on test methods if they or a close member of their immediate family have financial interest in or other close relationship with any of the parties (or with the subject matter) that would make it inappropriate for them to participate in the consideration and decision of any appeal. All parties to an appeal shall have the right to challenge the qualification of the appeals board members, with justification based on the above stated reasons, at least one week prior to consideration of an appeal by ECR or the Executive Committee of the Council. Members of ECR or the Executive Committee of the Council who are disqualified from a specific appeal shall absent themselves from the argument, deliberations and decisions.

Listing Equipment in AATCC Test Methods

Date Enacted: November 14, 1989; Modified to Add “or materials” November 16, 1993

(Superseded by “Listing of Equipment and Materials for AATCC Test Methods and Evaluation Procedures Effective with the 2009 AATCC Technical Manual,” enacted May 2, 2007)

Policy: (1) It is the responsibility of the interested firm to contact AATCC concerning use of suitable equipment or material in AATCC test methods. AATCC makes no claims as to having listed all manufacturers whose equipment or material could conceivably be used to conduct any given method.

(2) The research committee having jurisdiction over the test method of interest will consider proposed equipment or material brought to its attention.

(3) Equipment or materials manufacturers have the responsibility for evaluating their instrument or materials and presenting the committee with verifiable evidence that it meets the requirements specified in the test method. This evidence shall include the following: (A) Published operating instructions including safety precautions. (B) List of key variables affecting test results. (C) Variance of test results of multiple specimens from one laboratory sample tested simultaneously or sequentially depending on the nature of the instrument or material. (D) Variance of test results from multiple operators for one laboratory sample and one instrument. (E) Comparison with existing equipment or materials already used in the method.

(4) If after a manufacturer has met the above criteria the committee rejects the listing of a manufacturer’s equipment or material, the manufacturer may appeal that decision to the Executive Committee on Research.

Technical Manuals for Research Committee Chairs

Date Enacted: February 9, 1988

Policy: Technical Manuals will be made available on an annual basis to all active research committee chairmen upon written request made to the Technical Director. Appropriate charges will be applied against the TCR budget.

Committee Voting Status

Date Enacted: November 3, 1987

Policy: The number of committees on which a person may maintain voting status was changed from no more than three active test method and three technology committees by allowing that individual to petition the Executive Committee on Research to become voting on more than this number. Rules of Procedure for AATCC Test Method and Technology Committees, Article C4.3, was changed to reflect this policy.

Test Method Reaffirmation for Reference Committees

Date Enacted: November 3, 1987

Policy: When test methods exist in which there is no active research or reference committee chairman to determine their status, the Technical Manual Editorial Review committee may assume the duties of the test method committee in such activities as reaffirmation or withdrawal of the method. Rules of Procedures for Test Method and Technology Committees, Article C9.1, was changed to reflect this policy.

Relationship between Technical Manual Editorial Committee, Terminology Committee and Research Committees

Date Enacted: November 4, 1986

Policy: When conflict in editorial content and terms used in test method development, the ultimate responsibility for the test method lies with the research committee. The Technical Manual Editorial Review Committee and the Terminology Committee are to perform in an advisory capacity only.

Public Statements on Technical Matters

Date Enacted: February 19, 1982

Policy: Committee Chairmen and AATCC members are requested to send any correspondence which might become public information in the media to the AATCC Technical Center first for handling. The AATCC Technical Center will issue an official statement for you. AATCC will not be responsible for correspondence or replies to the media made directly by AATCC committee chairmen or committee members without prior approval by the AATCC Technical Center.

Test Method Limitations

Date Enacted: February 12, 1975

Policy: In all AATCC test methods, any limitations of the test method must be included in the Purpose and Scope. Appropriate references to limitations must also be contained in the body of the test method.

Committee Membership

Date Enacted: February 15, 1973

Policy: (1) Technology committees are defined to be those which do not produce test methods, and (2) membership limitations as set forth in Article IV, Section 4, Paragraph 2 of the Bylaws do not apply to the aforementioned technology committees.

A Senior member of AATCC may be a voting member of a maximum of three test method committees and three technology committees and there will be no limit on non- voting committee membership.

Procedure for the Resolution of Negative Votes on AATCC Research Committee Ballots

Date Enacted: February 14, 1973

Policy: (1) A majority of members present at a meeting of a Research Committee may vote to send a new test method or revision of an existing test method to a letter ballot for the entire committee. Before requesting a letter ballot, however, those committee members present at the meeting should assure themselves that the new method or revision of an existing method is in prescribed form and that sufficient data is in hand to support the method or revision. To be counted, all letter ballots must be received by the committee concerned within 30 days of the mailing date.

(2) Within 60 days after the closing date for committee letter ballots, the chairman of the

Research Committee shall attempt to resolve any negative votes, either personally or by a subcommittee which he may appoint. If at the end of the 60 day period there are still unresolved negative votes, the chairman of the committee shall foreword to the chairman of the Technical Committee on Research the matter on which the ballot was taken, copies of unresolved negative votes with accompanying supporting comments, a summary of his attempts to resolve the negative votes, and background data and actions which led to the ballot.

(3) The Chairman of TCR shall present the material provided by the committee chairman as in 2 above to the Executive Committee on Research for decision at its next regular meeting. Copies of the material shall be distributed to members of ECR as early prior to the meeting as possible to facilitate thorough study and consideration.

(4) After studying the ballot and the background information provided, ECR shall take one of the following actions:

(a) Return the matter to the Research Committee for further work and another ballot if ECR reasons that material and data submitted are insufficient to justify the action taken by the Research Committee majority.

(b) Approve a TCR letter ballot on the basis of the Research Committee majority if ECR reasons that the unresolved negative votes and comments are not persuasive and do not justify further investigation.

Committee Document Storage at the AATCC Technical Center

Date Enacted: April 27, 1972

Policy: The need for record continuity with respect to AATCC test method development programs has become significantly important to the technical program of the Association. Accordingly, it is the policy of the Association that at least one copy of all research and technology committee documents be sent to the AATCC Technical Center for inclusion in the files of the respective committees.

AATCC Position Regarding Laws and Regulations in the Field of Environmental Control

Date Enacted: April 30, 1971

Policy: AATCC should make its test methods available to any agency wishing to use them and to provide a forum for discussion of technological advances in specific areas. No stand should be taken by AATCC regarding laws or regulations in any field.

Apparatus and Materials Specifications

Date Enacted: July 1965

Policy: To encourage the development of specialized testing apparatus and materials for performing the test methods of the Association, organizations, other than AATCC, supplying such apparatus and materials cited in AATCC test methods shall have the responsibility for their products meeting the specifications established by AATCC and for making available to the Association, on request, copies of supporting quality control data. The Association does not test, certify or guarantee that any testing apparatus or materials conform to specifications or standards.

Appropriate Apparatus for Test Methods

Date Enacted: March 15, 1967

Policy: It is the policy of AATCC to request its research committees to utilize existing apparatus where applicable in the establishment of new or revised test methods. In such cases where no appropriate apparatus is available, the research committees are encouraged to engage in the development of such apparatus so as to fulfill the requirements of the test method. Each committee shall have the responsibility of directing all requests for instruments or testing apparatus to be developed or purchased to the Chairman of the Technical Committee on Research who shall coordinate, through the AATCC Technical Center staff, all contractual relationships with outside organizations.