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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Recognized Consensus Standards: Medical Devices

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Part B: Supplementary Information Sheet (SIS)
FR Recognition List Number 036 Date of Entry 07/09/2014 
FR Recognition Number 14-282
ASTM  F2338-09 (Reapproved 2020)
Standard Test Method for Nondestructive Detection of Leaks in Packages by Vacuum Decay Method
1.1 Test Packages-Packages that can be nondestructively evaluated by this test method include:
1.1.1 Rigid and semi-rigid non-lidded trays.
1.1.2 Trays or cups sealed with porous barrier lidding material.
1.1.3 Rigid, nonporous packages.
1.1.4 Flexible, nonporous packages.
1.2 Leaks Detected-This test method detects package leaks by measuring the rise in pressure (vacuum loss) in an enclosed evacuated test chamber containing the test package. Vacuum loss results from leakage of test package headspace gases and/or volatilization of test package liquid contents located in or near the leak. When testing for leaks that may be partially or completely plugged with the package's liquid contents, the test chamber is evacuated to a pressure below the liquid's vaporization pressure. All methods require a test chamber to contain the test package and a leak detection system designed with one or more pressure transducers. Test method sensitivities cited below were determined using specific product-package systems selected for the precision and bias studies summarized in Table 1. Table 1 also lists other examples of relevant product-package systems that can be tested for leakage by vacuum decay.
Extent of Recognition
Complete standard
Rationale for Recognition
This standard is relevant to medical devices and is recognized on its scientific and technical merit and/or because it supports existing regulatory policies.
Public Law, CFR Citation(s) and Procode(s)*
This standard is relevant for all medical devices where sterilization and packaging are components of the development and manufacture of the product.
Relevant FDA Guidance and/or Supportive Publications*
ISO 11607-1 Packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices - Part 1: Requirements for materials, sterile barrier systems and packaging systems.

ISO 11607-2 Packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices - Part 2: Validation requirements for forming, sealing and assembly processes.

ISO/TS 16775 First edition 2014-05-15 Packaging for terminally sterilized medical devices - Guidance on the application of ISO 11607-1 and ISO 11607-2.

Appropriate Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards in Premarket Submissions for Medical Devices - Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff, issued September 2018.
FDA Technical Contact
 Patrick Weixel
Standards Development Organization
ASTM ASTM International http://www.astm.org/
FDA Specialty Task Group (STG)
*These are provided as examples and others may be applicable.