The American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, has established a standardized method for determining the amount of microfiber fragment shedding during home laundry.
AATCC test method TM212-2021 defines standard nomenclature using the words "fiber fragment" and "microfiber," providing a consistent and uniform test technique for the worldwide industry to follow, eliminating inconsistencies that have long been a cause of misunderstanding for those trying to combat pollution.
Natural fibers are showing up in the food chain of marine life, which was previously thought to be a plastics issue. The AATCC TM212 can be used to assess the fiber shedding potential of natural fibers and blends as well as man-made fibers.
The standard is the result of collaboration between the AATCC's RA100 Global Sustainability committee, the Microfibre Consortium headquartered in the United Kingdom, and the Cross-Industry Agreement of European signatories.
Heather Elliot of Adidas, the outgoing chair of RA100, said thank you to everyone who contributed to the development of this test method. It's been years in the making, and it wouldn't have occurred if it hadn't been for the hands and minds of so many incredible people.
Milliken's Shulong Li, the incoming RA100 chair, said that the escape of tiny fiber fragments into the environment is a developing and severe problem that has drawn more public attention. TM212-2021 is the product of significant cooperation with a diverse group of textile industry stakeholders, governmental and private organizations, and technical specialists. This new standard technique gives the textile industry a consistent and valuable tool for better understanding the issues.
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