• New standard approved for microplastics detection in environmental water samples

Water/Wastewater

New standard approved for microplastics detection in environmental water samples

May 31 2024

A new standard for identifying microplastics in environmental water samples has recently been approved by ASTM International’s D19 water committee.

The new ASTM D8401 method is the first standard for the identification of plastic in environmental samples, and the first one that can be used in synergy with other ASTM standards for sample collection and preparation.

ASTM microplastics subcommittee lead William Robberson, P.E., explained, “Imagine you’re trying to understand if the water from various sources, such as rivers, lakes, or even your tap water, contains microplastics, these microplastics can be harmful to wildlife and potentially humans as well. However, finding and measuring these tiny particles in large volumes of water can be tricky because they’re so small and can easily be confused with other materials.”

The new standard is supplied with clear instructions that enable environmental scientists to routinely identify and quantify the level of microplastic contamination in water. It will provide the ideal solution for users to identify and categorise microplastics for risk assessment exposure for public health, environmental compliance, and protection. The new standard will also be invaluable for other applications including research into microplastics, ecological surveillance, analysis of water treatment regulatory bodies, and water treatment plants.

This new development relates directly to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #6  (clean water/sanitation) and #14 (life below water).


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