The main objectives of this WG are the validation of existing protocols for sample preparation and measurements (shape, size, abundance, and composition) in the range of N/MPs, through organization and the participation of PRIORITY laboratories in interlaboratory studies and comparison with different independent measurement principles. Not only will different environmental conditions/ecosystems be considered, but so will the environmental samples (organisms of different size and trophic levels, soils, sediment, water, plants, etc.). Additionally, this WG will provide recommendations on best practice to make data comparable and applicable for future studies with other working groups, stakeholders, and decision-makers.
WG6 kick of meeting, 6th July 2022, hybrid (Brescia, Italy)
The aim of this meeting was to introduce PRIORITY COST Action objectives to the participants of WG6. Self-introduction of the participants was conducted. The structure of WG6 was discussed and the results of the survey about participants were presented. In addition, a road map for WG6 activities was discussed.
A harmonization and standardization of the terminology used in conjunction with all aspects of micro- and nanoplastics. Recommendations will be published on the website.
Dedicated to the provision of an overview of existing reference material (certified and uncertified) as well as available test materials that were produced during the course of other large projects dedicated to the measurement of micro- and nanoplastics.
A mindmap related to the production of M/NP reference and test materials within the frame of ongoing an completed projects.
Standard operation procedures (SOP) and guidance for the preparation of in-house reference materials, test materials for round robin tests and interlaboratory comparisons (ILC) will be collected, reviewed. Guidance and recommendations will be published on our website.
Small-scale ILC and round robin tests will be organized as training for CA PRIORITY participants. These will be organized and prepared by WG6 in coordination with WG3.
The goal is to understand the needs and to harmonize activities amongst WG this subgroup will participate in the activities of the other WG and provide recommendations concerning harmonization and standardization. Tight collaboration with the WGs Collaboration Coordinator, Gabriela Kalčikova.
Completed or ongoing activities
Round Tables on Microplastic Standardization
Organization and participation in two round tables between PRIORITY and representatives of national metrological institutions (NMI) and other international standardization bodies with the aim of harmonizing the activities of PRIORITY and projects initiated by NMIs such as PlasticTrace https://infrastrutturaimpresa.it/en/projects/plastictrace/. The two meetings took place at INRiM (Italian National Metrology Institute, Turin, Italy, 10/2022) and BAM (Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin, Germany, 05/2023), respectively. Follow-up meetings are planned to make progress in the desired harmonization and standardization of measurement methods for, ideally traceable, measurement results, as well as definitions for micro- and nanoplastics research.
Collaboration with NMIs will be mutually beneficial as PRIORITY can bridge the large gap between bodies that issue working standards and measurement protocols and the rapidly growing community of institutions that measure MNP in accordance with legislation or for research purposes.
Connections with liasoning bodies
The Action PRIORITY has been introduced in a Workshop on microplastics organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), in the frame of TC 444 ‘Environmental characterization of solid matrices’, and in a webinar organized by the Southern Counties Materials Minerals and Mining Society (SCMMMS), managed by a committee with representation from the national metrology institute, industry and academia. In addition, some Core Group Members are actively involved in projects dealing with microplastic standardization in the frame of VAMAS (Versailles Project on Advanced Materials and Standards) that is an international initiative focused on pre-normative research in the field of advanced materials. Pre-normative research refers to scientific and technical investigations conducted with the aim of providing a basis for the development of standards and specifications, but before the formal standardization process takes place. VAMAS facilitates the harmonization of standards by promoting consensus on measurement methods and testing procedures for advanced materials.
Collaborating with VAMAS ensures that standards developed are internationally accepted and aligned, reducing discrepancies and promoting consistency in measurements across different regions (Results of VAMAS Survey Regarding Microplastic Issues, doi: 10.26434/chemrxiv-2021-h0z4j).
The participating of PRIORITY at the PlasticsFatE Expert Stakeholder Workshop “Recommendations for Micro- and Nanoplastics Standards, Policy & Regulations: Finding out the needs of regulators & standardisation bodies, industry, researchers, NGOs, and consumers” will help to better understand the needs of the MNP community. Here too, PRIORITY acts as a communicator/bridge to the standardization committees.
A two-day workshop and training organized by the WG6 and the CG is planned for the third quarter of 2024. The topics covered are the harmonization of measurement procedures and the creation of measurement protocols, definitions related to MNP measurement (metrological aspects), the proper use of reference materials and the production of test materials.