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One of the prime objectives of ASTM is the writing of approved methods for testing the properties of materials and the specification of standards to which materials must conform. The natural assumption is that at the time of testing the material under test is in a state of equilibrium, at least as far as its intrinsic chemical activity is concerned. Certain physical changes may occur due to crystallization or other time-dependent physical processes; it is also well known that properties can change due to environmental factors. The purpose of this paper is to keynote a potential future problem of ASTM in writing the standards and specifications for organic materials which will have in their preparation or pretesting history a step involving exposure to ionizing radiation. This problem arises from the now well-known fact that many organic materials contain, after irradiation, chemically reactive species which have, in many it may be helpful to review some fundamental radiation chemistry and describe some of the findings of workers in this field.
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, Long Island, N. Y.