Work Item
ASTM WK67788

New Test Method for Identification of Polymer Type and Quantity (Mass) Measurement of Microplastic Particles and Fibers in Waters with High-to-Low Suspended Solids Using Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry: Py-GC/MS

1. Scope

The study of water, the promotion of knowledge thereof, and the standardization of terminology methods for:
* Sampling and analysis of water, waterborne materials, and wastes, water- formed deposits and fluvial sediments,
* Surface-water hydraulics and hydrologic measurements,
* The determination of the performance of materials or products used to modify water characteristics, and
* The determination of the corrosivity or deposit forming properties of water.
The term "water" includes, but is not limited to, surface waters (rivers, lakes, artificial impoundments, runoff, etc.), groundwaters and springwaters, wastewaters (mine drainage, landfill leachate, brines, waters resulting from atmospheric precipitation and condensation (with the exception of acid deposition), process waters, potable waters, glacial melt waters, steam, water for subsurface injection and water discharges including waterborne materials and water-formed deposits.
The work of the Committee will be coordinated with other ASTM Committees and other societies and organizations having mutual interests.


all water matrices; analytical quality assurance; back-flush; calibration reference standard; calibration samples; cold-trap; collection procedures; continuing calibration check sample; count-based; cryo-trap; effluent; field duplicates; grinders; HDPE; high turbidity waters; influent; laboratory duplicates; LDPE; linear dynamic range; low turbidity waters; mass-based; microplastic; microplastic contamination; microplastic fibers; microplastic particles; microplastic pollution; microplastics; microplastics in drinking water; microplastics in wastewater; nanoparticle; nanoplastic particles; PE; PET; polymers; PP; pre-column; proficiency samples; PS; PVC; Py-GC/MS; pyrogram; pyrolysis; quality assurance; quality control; quantification procedures; quantitation; raw sewage; reactive pyrolysis; reference samples; retention indices; retention time; sample cup; sample preparation; sampling procedures; simulation samples; suspended solids


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. At this time the State of California and partner agencies are about to begin formal studies and monitoring programs for microplastics in drinking water and wastewater, and development of this standard is vital to support their efforts and efficacy.

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


Developed by Subcommittee: D19.06

Committee: D19

Staff Manager: Brian Milewski

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 04-06-2019

Technical Contact: William Robberson

Item: 001

Ballot: D19.06 (21-01)

Status: Will Reballot Item

Item: 001

Ballot: D19 (21-04)

Status: Negative Votes Need Resolution