ASTM WK67563

    New Practice for Collection of All Matrices of High and Low Turbidity Water Samples for the Identification and Quantification of Micro-plastic Particles and Fibers

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    Developed by Subcommittee: D19.06 | Committee D19 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 This procedure provides for the collection of all matrices of high and low turbidity water samples including municipal sewage and treated wastewater effluent for determining the presence of microplastic particles and fibers. 1.2 Water samples are sieved through sieves of increasingly smaller mesh size to allow for the collection of desired particle size fractions. 1.3 Subsequent sample preparation followed by analysis utilizing either IR or Raman spectroscopy or Py-GC/MS may be used to identify the quantity and/or composition (polymer type) of microplastic particles and fibers. If possible it is also desired to confirm microplastic particles size and shape with appropriate instruments such as a scanning electron microscope (SEM) prior to spectroscopy slide preparation or Py-GC/MS analysis.


    Microplastic, microplastics, polymers, PET, PE, PS, PP, HDPE, LDPE, microplastic pollution; microplastic contamination; microplastics in drinking water, microplastics in wastewater; influent; effluent; raw sewage; collection procedures; sampling procedures; quantification procedures; sample preparation; all water matrices; high turbidity waters; low turbidity waters; calibration samples, reference samples, mass-based, count-based, proficiency samples, analytical quality assurance, quality assurance, quality control,


    Microplastics are now recognized as pervasive in the environment - including wastewater effluent, the ocean water column, sediments, animal tissue and even drinking water. This pervasiveness has led to product bans for small plastics, such as microbeads used in cosmetic products, to larger plastic items that can degrade into microplastics, such as bags and straws. In addition, there are new and planned requirements to monitor microplastics in the environment, wastewater effluent and in drinking water. Implementing monitoring programs requires reliable standardized methods and best practice guidelines. Such methods enable comparison of studies, and the ability to compare quantification among sources. Although the quantification and characterization of microplastics in samples has been occurring for more than a decade, the results are not necessarily reliable or comparable because neither standard field and laboratory methods for collection and identification nor the reference materials necessary for quality assurance yet exist. The new standards will be used for QA/QC and risk assessment by local, state and federal agencies, industry, academia, and active NGOs.

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    William Robberson

    Draft Under Development