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This test method was used to determine the degree of aerobic biodegradation of polymeric compounds utilized in plastic materials by determining the level of respiration of such radiolabeled carbon compounds to radiolabeled carbon dioxide.
Formerly under the jurisdiction of Committee D20 on Plastics, this test method was withdrawn in February 2010 in accordance with subsection 10.5.3.1 of the Regulations Governing ASTM Technical Committees, which requires that standards shall be updated by the end of the eighth year since the last approval date.
1.1 This test is used to determine the degree of aerobic biodegradation of polymeric compounds utilized in plastic materials by determining the level of respiration of such radiolabeled carbon compounds to radiolabeled carbon dioxide.
1.2 The test is designed to utilize the naturally occurring microbes in seawater as the inoculum for the enrichment and subsequent mineralization (biodegradation) of the test polymer using it as a carbon and energy source resulting in a carbon dioxide as an end product.
1.3 The test method requires that the polymers to be assayed are synthesized using the radioisotope, carbon-14, and that the compound or plastic material be uniformly labeled with carbon-14.
1.4 As controls, known biodegradable compounds, such as glucose or starch, also uniformly labeled with carbon-14, are run in order to determine the biological activity of the natural population.
1.5 The concentration of added polymers shall be kept low so as not to cause limitation by oxygen, and the seawater inoculum is amended with nitrogen and phosphorus compounds to ensure that growth in not limited by these nutrients.
1.6 The safety problems and regulations associated with working with radioactive materials are not addressed in the method. It is the responsibility of the individual users to establish and ensure adherence the proper safety, health, monitoring and all regulatory practices associated with the use of radioactive compounds.
1.7 There is no similar or equivalent ISO standard.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics
D5296 Test Method for Molecular Weight Averages and Molecular Weight Distribution of Polystyrene By High Performance Size Exclusion Chromatography
D6340 Determining Aerobic Biodegradation of Radiolabeled Plastic Materials in an A) Aqueous or B) Compost Environment