Category Archives: AATCC Meeting

Unusual Matrices, Interesting Conferences

By Saji George

Herbal Products

Unusual-MatricesConsumer use of herbal supplements for wellness has been increasing in recent years, according to the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA).  Their website is the self-proclaimed voice of the herbal and botanical products industry, and an excellent resource for laboratories interested in providing testing services to this growing market sector.  At the Supply Side West show, they held numerous committee meetings (Analytical Laboratories, Personal Care, Sports Nutrition and Cannabis to name a few) where solutions to various industry issues are discussed

The show was held this March at the Anaheim Convention Center, and I attended on behalf of Pickering Laboratories.  Both the exhibit show and committee meetings were very informative.  This is a good place to taste-test the concoctions that are displayed at local stores but you always hesitate to buy because the components fail to excite the imagination. Consider it the test drive of the products that are so good for you. While there, I also explored new frontiers in herbs and botanicals, and listened in on the industry’s expanding conversation on pesticides, mycotoxins and adulterant.  If you are interested in more information about analytical testing in herbal matrices, please visit to learn more.


aatccThe International Conference of the American Association of Textiles Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) was held at Williamsburg, Virginia in April.  This show has three interest groups: chemical applications, concept-to-consumer and materials. The chemical applications group focuses on applying chemicals to textiles to add additional function (such as adding wrinkle free, anti-microbial and anti-mosquito, or flame retardant properties).  Concept-to-consumer focuses on the path from design to retail (such as balancing between design and quality, using conductive thread for sewing, or digital textile printing). Finally, the materials group focuses on latest innovations in fibers (such as solar textiles, smart textiles or novel synthetic turf infill).  To learn more about smart textiles, try this link or you could find those and other videos on YouTube.

So, why did Pickering Laboratories send a chemist to AATCC when we have no direct involvement in the textile industry?  Our product testing solutions are used every day in testing these textile innovations!  A popular artificial perspiration we offer is the AATCC Method 15 formulation, which is used for testing the colorfastness of fabric to perspiration or to a combination of light and perspiration.

For this and other formulations, visit and view our complete product testing catalog, or just explore the many different types of consumer products and tests that get performed everyday with artificial perspiration on products you purchase as a consumer!

AATCC Meeting

aatcc-logo-largeArtificial Eccrine Perspiration and Consumer Goods Testing

American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) is a worldwide association of professionals active in textile wet processing. It was my great pleasure to join the AATCC regional California meeting in San Francisco and meet all of the other new members.  AATCC approved the new chapter, and it will be great to work with these textile professionals more in the near future.  Recently, AATCC also published a great article about artificial perspiration and how it impacts the textiles and wearable technology industries.  I am including more information below, but please check out the article at:

Perspiration mimics have long been used by many industries to “sweat test” products such as textiles, dyes, cosmetics, credit cards, shoe leather, jewelry, and forensic fingerprint I.D., etc. Normally, a sweat mimic is concocted at the time of the test from a formula that varies by industry.  The industry-specific formulas contain only two to four components that represent a specific challenge: corrosion, textile staining, dye bleeding, magnetic strip damage, etc. 

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) describes procedures to test many products in the presence of a sweat mimic. According to Michael Pickering, “we were guided by the multiplicity of such tests to develop an artificial perspiration that can yield reproducible results independent of the test.”

Pickering Laboratories created an eccrine solution that allows standardization across all industries; it is the only formula that can satisfy all test challenges.  To facilitate tests on such materials as leather or cosmetics, where culture growth is the challenge, non-preserved formulas are available. 

Reproducible Results Anywhere, Anytime

A typical example of sweat testing in the jewelry industry is to determine the amount of nickel released by perspiration from alloys of gold, nickel, platinum or palladium, called “white gold.”  The nickel leached from these alloys by natural perspiration can cause allergic reactions. Increasing the amount of platinum/palladium in the alloy helps prevent the release of nickel but steeply increases the cost. The problem is thus to determine the minimum amount of noble metals necessary to keep the level of nickel released so as not to exceed the regulated level.  The test specifications vary by country wherever nickel is permitted.  Since the frequency of allergic reaction to nickel is high, the United States forbids the use of nickel in white gold formulations. 

Reproducible artificial perspiration solutions are paramount to forensic fingerprint investigation. Latent prints are made visible by reagents like ninhydrin that dye amines found in eccrine perspiration. To check that a null result is actually the absence of prints and not the results of test failure, crime scene investigation technicians make a control print of their own finger on a similar surface. To standardize this control print, Crime Science, Inc. offers Swetcheck™ artificial perspiration manufactured by Pickering Labs and dispensed in single-use sterile swabs.


Consumer products testing laboratories and manufacturers that do sweat testing on materials such as textiles, dyes, cosmetics, credit cards, jewelry and metals, coatings and finishings, polymers, leather, wood, keyboards, and any other testing application that would benefit from guaranteed reproducible results with artificial perspiration.