A test method has been developed by the AATCC to provide a means to determine the mass of fiber fragments released in an accelerated laundering setting. These fragments are sometimes referred to as “microfibers” or “microplastics.” AATCC TM212-2021, Test Method for Fiber Fragment Release During Home Laundering, provides a standardized method for quantifying fiber fragment shedding in the ongoing challenge to combat aquatic pollution.
This method from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), Research Triangle Park, NC/USA, provides the global industry with a consistent and uniform test method to follow. AATCC TM212 defines standard nomenclature with the terms fiber fragment and microfiber, which address discrepancies that have long been a source of confusion for many who work to tackle pollution.
Originally assumed to be a plastics problem, natural fibers are also appearing in marine life's food cycle. AATCC TM212 is not limited to man-made fibers, as it can be used to determine the fiber shedding potential of natural fibers and blends.
The test method was developed and approved by consensus from a diverse group of experts from around the world and across related industries. It will also be included in the AATCC 2022 Manual of International Test Methods and Procedures released January 2022.