Standard Active Last Updated: Feb 10, 2023 Track Document
ASTM G22-23

Standard Practice for Determining Resistance of Plastics to Bacteria

Standard Practice for Determining Resistance of Plastics to Bacteria G0022-23 ASTM|G0022-23|en-US Standard Practice for Determining Resistance of Plastics to Bacteria Standard new BOS Vol. 14.04 Committee G03
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Significance and Use

4.1 The resin portion of plastic materials is usually resistant to bacteria, in that it does not serve as a carbon source for the growth of bacteria. It is generally the other components, such as plasticizers, lubricants, stabilizers, and colorants that are responsible for bacterial attack on plastic materials. It is important to establish the resistance of plastics to microbial attack when plastics are used under conditions of high temperature and humidity favorable for such attack.

4.2 The effects to be expected are:

4.2.1 Surface attack, discoloration, and loss of transmission (optical).

4.2.2 Removal of susceptible plasticizers, modifiers, and lubricants, resulting in increased modulus (stiffness), changes in weight, dimensions, and other physical properties, and deterioration of electrical properties such as insulation resistance, dielectric constant, power factor, and dielectric strength.

4.3 Often the changes in electrical properties are due principally to surface growth and associated moisture, and to pH changes caused by products of bacterial metabolism. Other effects include preferential growths caused by nonuniform dispersion of plasticizers, lubricants, and other processing additives. Pronounced physical changes may be observed on products in film form or as coatings where the ratio of surface to volume is high, and where nutrient materials such as plasticizers and lubricants continue to diffuse to the surface as they are utilized by the organisms.

4.4 Since attack by organisms involves a large element of change due to local accelerations and inhibitions, the order of reproducibility may be rather low. To assure that estimates of behavior are not too optimistic, the greatest observed degree of deterioration should be reported.

4.5 Conditioning of specimens such as exposure to leaching, weathering, heat treatment, etc., may have significant effects on the resistance of plastics to bacteria. Determination of these effects is not covered in this document.


1.1 This practice covers two procedures, A and B, for determining the effect of bacteria on the properties of plastics in the form of molded and fabricated articles, tubes, rods, sheets, and film materials. Procedure B provides a more extensive contact between the test bacteria and the specimens than does Procedure A. Changes in optical, mechanical, and electrical properties may be determined by the applicable ASTM methods.

1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.

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

1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 14.04
Developed by Subcommittee: G03.04
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/G0022-23
ICS Code: 83.080.01