Work Item
ASTM WK74436

New Practice for Microplastic characterisation from Air using thermal desorption

1. Scope

This standard practice describes the sampling and analysis of Microplastics from Ambient (Indoor/Workplace) Air. Direct desorption of filtrates containing microplastics provides a simple and streamlined sample preparation step while GCMS analysis produces information rich volatile organic compound (VOC) profiles. The VOC profiles contain marker compounds to identify and quantify the plastic, along with other chemical signatures that could prove useful in source apportionment, toxicity assessment and regional profiling.


emerging contaminants


As an emerging field of study, not a lot is known about microplastics and their full impact yet. Althoughlegislation to tackle plastic waste isincreasing globally a Recent UN reports explain that microplastic pollution remains an overlooked problem. In January 2019, ECHA (the European Chemicals Agency)proposed a restriction on the intentional use of microplastics (such as Microbeads) in products placed on the EU market to avoid or reduce their release into the environment, this proposal is currently at the consultation phase. A report by the World Health Organization (WHO), published in the same year, examines evidence related to microplastics in the water cycle (including tap and bottled water and its sources), the potential impact on health after exposure to microplastics and the removal of microplastics during wastewater and drinking water treatments. In the report, the WHO includes recommendations for taking action such as monitoring and managing microplastics in the environment. However there is a lack of methodology to carry out those recommendations in a variety of matrices - Air/Water and Soil.

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


Developed by Subcommittee: D22.03

Committee: D22

Staff Manager: Ashley Wiand

Work Item Status

Date Initiated: 10-19-2020

Technical Contact: Caroline Widdowson

Item: 000