ASTM D5435 - 13

    Standard Test Method for Diagnostic Soil Test for Plant Growth and Food Chain Protection

    Active Standard ASTM D5435 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.22

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    ASTM D5435

    Significance and Use

    5.1 The bioavailability of chemical elements is poorly related to the chemical composition of soils and plant growth media containing a mineral or any type of adsorbed phase. The chemical potential (pi for element, i,) is an intensity parameter (I), and the sorbed amount in equilibrium with the soil solution is a measure of the quantity (Q). These parameters for each element (essential or toxic) should be measured in the presence of other elements at or near the desired intensity. This test method is the only method that generates these results simultaneously for several elements. The computer software allows these values to be related to the total sorbed quantities of the different elements. For many substrates, it has been found that the theory for the method holds to the degree that vegetation has been established on many non-soil substrates and soil-water-food chain problems have been evaluated by this test method. This test method has been used on many sites in Pennsylvania and other locations to monitor the effect of sewage sludge applications on land as a source of essential elements for plants with no harmful effects on the food chain. It has also been used to evaluate synthetic soils produced from fly-ash alone or as a component of coal refuse for the establishment of vegetation on mine spoils, coal refuse piles, and abandoned mine lands.

    Note 1The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection and the like. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of quantity (Q) and intensity (I) results for several elements in soils, spoils, fly-ash, and other soil substitutes to ascertain their suitability for the growth of vegetation and possible adverse effects of metals on the food chain.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.3 All measured and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety problems, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    E617 Specification for Laboratory Weights and Precision Mass Standards


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.080.30 (Biological properties of soil)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D5435

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