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ASTM Standards support oil spill response.

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May 14, 2010 - Standards developed by ASTM International Committee F20 on Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response cover containment booms, in-situ burning, dispersant application, spill operation, shoreline countermeasures, and skimmers. Standards developed by ASTM International Committee E47 on Biological Effects and Environmental Fate are used to measure effects of toxins in environment, including effects of physical and chemical stress on aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals.

ASTM Standards Serve as Technical Resources to Support Oil Spill Response

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: May 11, 2010

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., -Standards developed by ASTM International Committees F20 on Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response and E47 on Biological Effects and Environmental Fate play a role in both the initial response and follow-up to oil spills. The recent spill in the Gulf of Mexico highlights the importance of standards that cover all aspects of oil spill response and cleanup.

F20 on Hazardous Substance and Oil Spill Response
Since its founding in 1975, ASTM International Committee F20 on Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response has developed a wide variety of standards pertaining to performance, durability, strength of systems and techniques used for the control of oil and hazardous substances. ASTM F20 standards are used for oil response activities around the world.

"Almost everything we have done since 1975 is going to be applied in some way, shape or form in the Gulf of Mexico spill response," says Peter Lane, chairman of F20, and president and CEO, Applied Fabric Technologies Inc. Lane also notes that some F20 standards are relevant to the immediate response to the Gulf spill, while others could be used during follow-up procedures once the initial response has been completed.

Subjects covered in F20 standards include: containment booms; in-situ burning; dispersant application; spill operation; shoreline countermeasures; and skimmers and skimmer effectiveness.

Among the most prominent F20 standards are F1084, Guide for Sampling Oil/Water Mixtures for Oil Spill Recovery Equipment and F2152, Guide for In-Situ Burning of Spilled Oil: Fire-Resistant Boom. The committee continues to investigate the cutting edge of technology as well, with its proposed new standard WK24607, Specification for the Design and Use of Vessel-Mounted Camera Systems for Oil Spill Response.

ASTM F20 standards are published in Volume 11.05 of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards. In addition, 57 F20 standards that address the latest research in oil spill recovery applications and ecological considerations for the use of chemical dispersants and containment of emergency response personnel are available in the third edition of the compilation, ASTM Standards on Hazardous Substances and Oil Spill Response. The committee also publishes ASTM manuals and special technical publications that contribute to the cutting edge of oil spill response technology.

Members of F20 include stakeholders from the petroleum industry as well as manufacturers, regulators, contractors, end users and environmental advocates.

E47 on Biological Effects and Environmental Fate
Standards developed by ASTM International Committee E47 on Biological Effects and Environmental Fate are used to measure the effects of toxins in the environment. ASTM E47 standards focus on the following: the effects of physical and chemical stress on aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals (including humans); and those properties of materials that affect and determine their fate, distribution and persistence when introduced into the environment.

In addition to ASTM standards, E47 is responsible for the 1995 publication of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Fate and Effects in Alaskan Waters, the first definitive explanation of the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill which occurred in 1989. The book contains 25 peer-reviewed papers that cover key topics such as: chemistry and fate of the spill; shoreline impacts of the spill; effects on fish and fisheries; effects on wildlife; and archaeological site impact.

About ASTM International
ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions.

View this release on the ASTM Web site at

ASTM Committee F20 Next Meeting: Oct. 12-13, October committee week, San Antonio, Texas

F20 Technical Contact: Peter Lane, Applied Fabric Technologies, Orchard Park, N.Y., Phone: 716-662-0632;

F20 ASTM Staff Contact: Jeffrey Adkins, Phone: 610-832-9738;

ASTM Committee E47 Next Meeting: Nov. 7, in conjunction with SETAC North America 31st Annual Meeting, Portland, Ore.

E47 Technical Contact: Lawrence Kapustka, LK Consultancy, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Phone: 403-559-0140;

E47 ASTM Staff Contact: Scott Orthey, Phone: 610-832-9730;

ASTM PR Contact: Barbara Schindler, Phone: 610-832-9603;
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