ASTM Metalworking Fluid Testing Standards

The documents listed below may be purchased directly from ASTM, and they can be ordered from the ASTM website at  The price varies with the report, but you can expect that $50 bucks U.S. will get you any one of these.




Significance and Use


-05 (2010)

Terminology Relating to Sampling and Analysis of Atmospheres

This terminology is a collective vocabulary relating to sampling and analysis of atmospheres. As a convenience to general interest, it contains most of the standard terms, definitions, and nomenclature under the jurisdiction of Committee D22.



Standard Test Method for Active Sulfur in Cutting Oils

This test method measures the quantity of sulfur available to react with metallic surfaces to form solid lubricating aids at the temperature of the test. Rates of reaction are metal type, temperature, and time dependent.


-95 (2010)

Standard Test Method for measuring Wear Properties of Fluid Lubricants  (Falex Pin and Vee Block Method)

This test method may be used to determine wear obtained with fluid lubricants under the prescribed test conditions. The user of this test method should determine to his or her own satisfaction whether results of this test procedure correlate with field performance or other bench test machines.


-03 (2009)

Standard Classification for Metal Working Fluids and Related Materials

Metal working may be divided into two general types of processes, metal deformation and metal removal or cutting. This classification lists the various types of fluid and non-fluid materials used to directly cool and lubricate in both types of metalworking processes. It is intended for use by those in metalworking or related industries who want to differentiate these materials. It is up to the user of this classification to determine the relevance of the items listed with respect their application.


-00 (2011)

Standard Test Method for Comparing Metal Removal Fluids Using the Tapping Torque Test Machine

The procedures described in this test method can be used to predict more accurately the lubricating properties of a metal removal fluid than previously available laboratory scale tests.
This test method is designed to allow flexibility in the selection of test specimen metal composition, tap alloy or coatings, and machining speeds.
Comparison between various types of fluids can be made, including cutting oils, soluble oils, semi-synthetics, or water soluble synthetics.


-04 (2010)

Standard Test Method for Metal Removal Fluid Aerosol in Workplace Atmospheres

This test method covers the gravimetric determination of metal removal fluid aerosol concentrations in workplace atmospheres.

The test method provides total particulate matter concentrations for comparison with historical exposure databases collected with the same technology.

The test method provides an extension to current nonstandardized methods by adding an extractable mass concentration which reduces interferences from nonmetal removal fluid aerosols.

The test method does not address differences between metal removal fluid types, but it does include extraction with a broad spectrum of solvent polarity to remove any of the current fluid formulations from insoluble background aerosol adequately.

The test method does not identify or quantify any specific putative toxins in the workplace that can be related to metal removal fluid aerosols or vapors.

The test method does not address the loss of semivolatile compounds from the filter during or after collection.


-00 (2007)

Guide for Acute Animal Toxicity Testing of Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluids

This guide defines acute animal toxicity tests and sets forth the references for procedures to assess the acute toxicity of water-miscible metalworking fluids as manufactured.


-96 (2008) 

Standard Guide for Air Sampling Strategies for Worker and Workplace Protection 

To describe standard approaches used to determine air sampling strategies before any actual air sampling occurs.

For the majority of the purposes for sampling, and for the majority of the materials sampled, air sampling strategies are matters of choice. Air sampling in the workplace may be done for single or multiple purposes. Conflicts arise when a single air sampling strategy is expected to satisfy multiple purposes.

Limitations of cost, space, power requirements, equipment, analytical methods, and personnel requirements result in an optimum strategy for each purpose.

A strategy designed to satisfy multiple purposes must be a compromise among several alternatives, and will not be optimum for any one purpose.

The purpose or purposes of sampling should be explicitly stated before a sampling strategy is selected. Good practice, legal requirements, cost of the sampling program, and the usefulness of the results may be markedly different for different purposes of sampling.

This guide will not aid in the evaluation of air sampling data.

This guide is intended for those who are preparing to evaluate the work environment of a location by air sampling, or who wish to obtain an understanding of what information can be obtained by air sampling. 


–05 (2011)

Practice for Selection and Safe Use of Water-Miscible and Straight Oil Metal Removal Fluids

Use of this practice will improve management and control of metal removal fluids. The proper management and use will reduce dermal and other occupational hazards associated with these fluids.

Guide E2148 covers information on how to use documents related to health and safety of metalworking and metal removal fluids, including this document. Documents referenced in Guide E2148 are grouped as applicable to producers, to users, or to all.



Terminology Relating to Occupational Health and Safety

The terms in this standard are used in the fields of occupational health and safety. The terms are used to describe the limits of exposure under different conditions, the meanings of terms used in describing events and the types of items measured. They will commonly be used to express the effect of an even or the limits of a chemical exposure on human beings.


-02 (2007)

Test Method for Determining Carcinogenic Potential of Virgin Base Oils in Metalworking Fluids

The test method is based on a modification of the Ames Salmonella mutagenesis assay. As modified, there is good correlation with mouse skin-painting bioassay results for samples of raw and refined lubricating oil process streams.

Mutagenic potency in this modified assay and carcinogenicity in the skin-painting bioassay also correlate with the content of 3 to 7 ring PACs, which include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and their heterocyclic analogs. The strength of these correlations implies that PACs are the principal mutagenic and carcinogenic species in these oils. Some of the methods that have provided evidence supporting this view are referenced in Appendix X1.


-04 (2011)

Practice for Minimizing Effects of Aerosols in the Wet Metal Removal Environment

Use of this practice will minimize occupational exposure to aerosols in the wet metal removal environment.

Excessive exposures to metal removal fluid aerosols are associated with machinist complaints of respiratory irritation.

Through implementation of this practice and incorporation of a metal removal fluid management program, appropriate product selection, appropriate machine tool design, selection, and maintenance, and control of microorganisms, users should be able to minimize complaints of machinist respiratory irritation.


-01 (2007)

Practice for Personal Sampling and Analysis of Endotoxin in Metalworking Fluid Aerosols in Workplace Atmospheres

Endotoxins in metalworking fluid aerosols present potential respiratory health hazards to workers who inhale them. Therefore, a consensus standard is needed to provide reliable data on workplace airborne endotoxin concentrations where metalworking fluids are used.

This practice for measuring airborne endotoxin concentrations in metalworking fluid atmospheres will help to foster a better understanding of endotoxin exposure-response relationships.

This practice facilitates comparisons of inter laboratory data from methods and field investigative studies


11b (2012) 

See also:   WK 32829 


Standard Guide for Using Documents Related to Metalworking or Metal Removal Fluid Health and Safety

Application of this guide will provide users with information on how to use the various documents listed in Section 2 related to health and safety of metalworking and metal removal fluids.

Users of the documents listed in Section 2 may fall into several categories, such as producers of metalworking or metal removal fluids, suppliers of raw materials to those producers, users of metalworking or metal removal fluids, and other interested parties, such as non governmental organizations.


Section 2: [ E1687, E1302, E1497, E1972, D7049, E2144, E2169, E2657, E2563, E2564, E2694, E2693.]


-01 (2007)

Practice for Selecting Antimicrobial Pesticides for Use in Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluids

This practice summarizes the steps in the antimicrobial pesticide selection process, reviewing technical and regulatory considerations inherent in the process. It complements and amplifies information provided in Practice E 1497.

5.1.1 Steps in the antimicrobial selection process include: needs identification, use strategy selection, efficacy testing, chemical compatibility testing, regulatory consideration review, handling and disposal issue review.

This practice provides stakeholders in the microbicide selection process an overview of its complexities, including the process of obtaining pesticide registration from cognizant governing bodies.

Personnel responsible for antimicrobial pesticide selection will be able to use this practice as a roadmap through the process.

Personnel responsible for industrial hygiene, product or plant management will gain insight to the tradeoffs attendant with antimicrobial use and selection.


- 03 (2008)

Standard Practice for Evaluating Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluid Bioresistance and Antimicrobial Pesticide Performance.

This practice provides laboratory procedures for rating the relative bioresistance of metalworking fluid formulations, for determining the need for microbicide addition prior to or during fluid use in metalworking systems and for evaluating microbicide performance. General considerations for microbicide selection are provided in Practice E 2169.

The factors affecting challenge population numbers, taxonomic diversity, physiological state, inoculation frequency and biodeterioration effects in recirculating metalworking fluid systems are varied and only partially understood. Consequently, the results of tests completed in accordance with this practice should be used only to compare the relative performance of products or microbicide treatments included in a test series. Results should not be construed as predicting actual field performance


- 11

Standard Terminology for Metalworking Fluids and Operations

Personnel from a wide range of disciplines contribute to metalworking fluid management and plant environment health and safety management. Consequently, terms familiar to some stakeholders will be unfamiliar to others.

This terminology standard provides, in a single document, a compilation of definitions used by personnel involved with both metalworking environment health and safety and fluid management.

Use of terms as defined in this terminology standard will enable all stakeholders to use metalworking industry terms in the appropriate context, thereby improving interdisciplinary communications.



Test Method for Enumeration of Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacteria in Aqueous Metalworking Fluids by Plate Count Method

This method allows for the recovery and enumeration of viable and culturable, non-tuberculosis, rapidly growing Mycobacteria (M.immunogenum, M.chelonae, M. absessus, M. fortuitum, and M.smegmatis) in the presence of high gram negative background populations in metalworking fluid field samples. During the past decade it has become increasingly apparent that non-tuberculous Mycobacteria are common members of the indigenous MWF bacterial population. This population is predominantly comprised of gram negative bacteria and fungi. Mycobacterial contamination of metalworking fluids has been putatively associated with hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) amongst metal grinding machinists. The detection and enumeration of these organisms will aid in better understanding of occupational health related problems and a better assessment of antimicrobial pesticide efficacy.

The measurement of viable and culturable mycobacterial densities combined with the total mycobacterial counts (including viable culturable (VC), viable-non culturable (VNC) and non viable (NV) counts) is usually the first step in establishing any possible relationship between Mycobacteria and occupational health concerns (for example, HP).

The method can be employed in survey studies to characterize the viable-culturable mycobacterial population densities of metal working fluid field samples.

This method is also applicable for establishing the mycobacterial resistance of metalworking fluid formulations by determining mycobacterium survival by means of plate count technique.

This method can also be used to evaluate the relative efficacy of microbicides against Mycobacteria in metalworking fluids.



Test Method for Enumeration of Mycobacteria in Metalworking Fluids by Direct Microscopic Counting (DMC) Method

During the past decade, it has become increasingly apparent that non-tuberculous mycobacteria are common members of the indigenous MWF bacterial population. Measurement of mycobacterial cell count densities is an important step in establishing a possible relationship between mycobacteria and occupational health related allergic responses, for example, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (HP) in persons exposed to aerosols of metalworking fluids. It is known that the viable mycobacteria count underestimates the total mycobacterial levels by not counting the non-culturable, possibly dead or moribund population that is potentially equally important in the investigation of occupational health related problems. The Direct Microscopic Counting Method (DMC) described here gives a quantitative assessment of the total numbers of acid-fast bacilli. It involves using acid-fast staining to selectively identify mycobacteria from other bacteria, followed by enumeration or direct microscopic counting of a known volume over a known area. Although other microbesparticularly the Actinomycetesalso stain acid fast, they are differentiated from the mycobacteria because of their morphology and size. Non-mycobacteria, acid-fast microbes are 50-100 times larger than mycobacteria. The method provides quantitative information on the total (culturable and non-culturable viable, and non-viable) mycobacteria populations. The results are expressed quantitatively as mycobacteria per mL of metalworking fluid sample.

The DMC method using the acid-fast staining technique is a semi- quantitative method with a relatively fast turnaround time.

The DMC method can also be employed in field survey studies to characterize the changes in total mycobacteria densities of metalworking fluid systems over a long period of time.

The sensitivity detection limit of the DMC method depends on the MF and the sample volume (direct or centrifuged, etc.) examined.


See also: WK34693

Test Method for Determination of Endotoxin Concentrations in Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluids

Significance and Use


The determination of endotoxin concentrations in metalworking fluids is a parameter that can be used in decision-making for prudent fluid management practices (fluid draining, cleaning, recharging or biocide dosages).

This standard provides a test method for analysts who perform quantitative endotoxin analyses of water-miscible metalworking fluids.

1. Scope

1.1 This test method covers quantitative methods for the sampling and determination of bacterial endotoxin concentrations in water miscible metalworking fluids (MWF).

1.2 Users of this test method need to be familiar with the handling of MWF.

1.3 This method gives an estimate of the endotoxin concentration in the sampled MWF.

1.4 This method replaces Test Method E2250.

1.5 This test method seeks to minimize inter-laboratory variation of endotoxin data but does not ensure uniformity of results.




Practice for Prevention of Dermatitis in the Wet Metal Removal Fluid Environment

Use of this practice is intended to reduce occupational dermatitis caused by exposure to the wet metal removal environment.

Complaints of dermatitis conditions are often associated with exposures to metal removal fluid.

Implementation of this practice and incorporation of metal removal fluid management program has the potential to reduce complaints of occupational dermatitis. Elements of an effective program include: understanding dermatitis and associated causes; prevention of dermatitis and exposure to metal removal fluids; appropriate product selection; good management of additives, microorganisms, and fluids; appropriate additive (including antimicrobial pesticides) selection and additive control; appropriate tool design and assessment and control of metal removal fluid exposures including aerosols.



Test Method for Measurement of Adenosine Triphosphate in Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluids

This method measures the concentration of ATP present in the sample. ATP is a constituent of all living cells, including bacteria and fungi. Consequently, the presence of ATP is an indicator of total microbial contamination in metalworking fluids. ATP is not associated with matter of non-biological origin.

Method D 4012 validated ATP as a surrogate for culturable bacterial data (Guide E 1326).

This method differs from Method D 4012 in that it eliminates interferences that have historically rendered ATP testing unusable with complex organic fluids such as MWF.

The ATP test provides rapid test results that reflect the total bioburden in the sample. It thereby reduces the delay between test initiation and data capture, from the 36 h to 48 h (or longer) required for culturable colonies to become visible, to approximately five minutes.

Although ATP data covary strongly with culture data in MWF , different factors affect ATP concentration than those that affect culturability.

Culturability is affected primarily by the ability of captured microbes to proliferate on the growth medium provided, under specific growth conditions. It have been estimated that less than 1 % of the species present in an environmental sample will form colonies under any given set of growth conditions.

ATP concentration is affected by: the microbial species present, the physiological states of those species, and the total bioburden (See Appendix X1).

One example of the species effect is that the amount of ATP per cell is substantially greater for fungi than bacteria.

Within a species, cells that are more metabolically active will have more ATP per cell than dormant cells.

The greater the total bioburden, the greater the ATP concentration in a sample.

The possibility exists that the rinse step (11.15) may not eliminate all chemical substances that can interfere with the bioluminescence reaction (11.39).

The presence of any such interferences can be evaluated by performing a standard addition test series as described in Appendix X3.

Any impact of interfering chemicals will be reflected as bias relative to data obtained from fluid that does not contain interfering chemicals.

F2588-12 Standard Test Method for Man-In-Simulant Test (MIST) for Protective Ensembles

This test method is intended to evaluate the penetration and permeation resistance for complete ensembles to vapors from chemical warfare agents and other chemical substances.

This test method differs from Test Method F1052 by providing an evaluation of ensembles worn on human test subjects and measuring the inward leakage of a chemical agent vapor simulant as it would be absorbed by the wearers skin. Test Method F1052 is not applicable to the range of protective ensembles that are evaluated by this test method.

This test method differs from Test Method F1359 by using a chemical agent vapor simulant as compared to a liquid challenge and in the use of human test subjects. This test method further provides a quantitative assessment of inward leakage for the chemical agent vapor simulant.

The use of this test method to determine the inward leakage of other chemical vapor threats must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

This test method is applied to complete ensembles consisting of a suit or garment in combination with gloves, footwear, respirators, and interface devices.

This test method permits any combination or configuration of ensemble elements and components, including ensembles where the respirator covers the face or head.

This test method accommodates protective ensembles or protective clothing having any combination of the following characteristics:

(1) the protective ensemble or clothing is constructed of air permeable, semipermeable, or impermeable fabrics,

(2) the protective ensemble or clothing is of a single or multi-layered design, or

(3) the protective ensemble or clothing is constructed of inert or sorptive fabrics.

MeS has been used as a simulant for chemical warfare agents. MeS is primarily a simulant for distilled mustard (HD) with a similar vapor pressure, density, and water solubility. The use of MeS in vapor form does not simulate all agents or hazardous substances to which ensemble wearers are potentially exposed.

The principal results of this test are physiological protective dosage factors that indicate the relative effectiveness of the ensemble in preventing the inward leakage of the chemical agent vapor simulant and its consequent dosage to the wearers skin as determined by the use and placement of personal adsorbent devices (PAD) on human test subjects.

Specific information on inward leakage of chemical agent vapor simulant is provided by local physiological protective dosage factors for individual PAD locations to assist in determining possible points of entry of the chemical agent vapor simulant into the ensemble.

The determination of the local physiological protective dosage factors is based on ratio of the outside exposure dosage to the inside exposure dosage on the wearers skin at specific locations of the body and accounts for the specific susceptibility of the average humans skin at those locations to the effects of blister agent, distilled mustard using the onset of symptoms exposure dosages (OSED) at different points on the body. The specific OSED values used in this test method are based on the exposure concentration of distilled mustard that cause threshold effects to the average individual human in the form of reversible skin ulceration and blistering (1).

The body locations chosen for the placement of PADs were chosen to represent the range of body areas on the human body, with preference to those body areas generally near interfaces found in common two-piece ensembles with separate respirator, gloves, and footwear. Additional locations are permitted to be used for the placement of PAD where there are specific areas of interest for evaluating the inward leakage of the chemical agent vapor simulant.

Note 1—Common interface areas for protective ensemble include the hood to respirator facemask, clothing or suit closure, upper torso garment to lower torso garment, garment sleeve to glove, and garment pant cuff to footwear.

An assessment of the vapor penetration and permeation resistance for the entire ensemble is provided by the determination of a systemic physiological protective dosage factor. The same PAD data are used in a body region hazard analysis to determine the overall physiological protective dosage factor accounting for the areas of the body represented by the location, and the relative effects of the nerve agent, VX. A systemic analysis assists in the evaluation for those chemical agents, such as nerve agents, affecting the human body through a cumulative dose absorbed by the skin (2).

Examples of analyses applying PAD data for the assessment of ensemble inward leakage resistance are provided in NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensemble for Structural and Proximity Fire Fighting, and NFPA 1994, Standard on Protective Ensemble for CBRN Terrorism Incidents.

The general procedures in this test method are based on Test Operations Procedure (TOP 10-2-022), Man-In-Simulant Test (MIST) - Chemical Vapor Testing of Chemical/ Biological Protective Suits.

The human subject activities simulate possible causes of changes in ensemble vapor barrier during expected activities. These activities are primarily based on stationary activities provided in Part A of Practices F1154 and are intended to create movements that are likely to affect the integrity of the ensemble and its interface areas. Additional activities (such as dragging a dummy and climbing a ladder) have been added to simulate activities that might be used by first responders during emergency events such as rescuing victims from a terrorism incident involving chemical agents. The test method permits the modification of the activity protocol to simulate the specific needs of the protective ensemble application.

The length of the human subject exposure to the chemical agent vapor simulant is set at 30 min in the test chamber with a 5 min decontamination period. This test duration is intended to replicate a possible exposure of a first responder during a terrorism incident involving chemical agents. If a self-contained breathing apparatus is used, a 60-min rated respirator must be used or provisions made for supplemental umbilical air (through a supplied air system). The test method permits the adjustment of the exposure period to simulate the specific needs of the protective ensemble application.

Test results generated by this test method are specific to the ensemble being evaluated. Changing any part of the ensemble necessitates a new set of testing for the modified ensemble.

Additional information on man-in-simulant testing is provided in (3).

1. Scope

1.1 This test method specifies the test equipment and procedures for conducting tests to estimate the entry of chemical agent vapor simulant through protective ensembles while worn by test subjects.

1.2 This test method permits the evaluation of protective ensembles consisting of protective garments or suits, gloves, footwear, respirators, and interface devices.

1.3 The results of this test method yield local physiological protective dosage factors at individual locations of the human body as well as a systemic physiological protective dosage factor for the entire ensemble.

WK #


 Work Item

WK 25531


New Practice for Control of Respiratory Health Hazards in the Wet Metal Removal Fluid Environment

1 This practice sets forth guidelines to control respiratory health hazards in the wet metal removal environment. 2. The scope of this pracice does not include prevention of dermatitis which is the subject of a seprate practice but which does adopt a similar systems management approach with many control elements in common. 3. This practice focuses on employee exposure via inhalation of wet metal removal fluids and associated airborn agents No standard exists that give those occupationally exposed to metal removal fluid mists and contaminants comprehensive guidance for minimizing health hazards asscociated with that exposure nor guidance for an occupational exposure guideline (OEG) itself. Furthermore, aside from the now eight-year-old OSHA Metalworking Fluids: Safety & Health Best Practices Manual (which by incorporates by reference the NIOSH Recommended Expsure Limit but does not recommend an OEG of its own), no voluntary consensus standard document exists which includes: discussion of health hazards associated with wet metal removal fluids; fluid management practices to minimize mist generation; minimizing fluid properties associated with adverse health effects; testing and maintenance; product selection; selection and use of additives; engineering control methods; safe work practices; air monitoring methods; medical surveillance; communication and training. The standard will be used by employers and employees alike to minimize health hazards associated with occupational exposure to metal removal fluid mists and contaminants and may be adopted by OSHA in lieu of a 6(b) standard.

WK 32829


Revision of E2148 - 11a Standard Guide for Using Documents Related to Metalworking or Metal Removal Fluid Health and Safety

The definition for endotoxin as it appears in E 2144, E 2148 and E 2657 is not harmonized. Three linked work items are being created to harmonize the definition of this term in all three ASTM standards in which it appears. Moreover, it is now known that endotoxins are produced by Gram positive bacteria and fungi. Consequently, the definition equating endotoxin to lipopolysaccharides is inaccurate and should be revised to reflect our current understanding of endotoxin. In E 2657 a delimiting discussion subparagraph to restrict the use of the term in that particular standard to refer only to lipopolysaccharide

WK 34693


Revision of E2657 - 09 Standard Test Method for Determination of Endotoxin Concentrations in Water-Miscible Metalworking Fluids    The definition for endotoxin as it appears in E 2144, E 2148 and E 2657 is not harmonized. Three linked work items are being created to harmonize the definition of this term in all three ASTM standards in which it appears. The definition used in Guide F2103 - 11 Standard Guide for Characterization and Testing of Chitosan Salts as Starting Materials Intended for Use in Biomedical and Tissue-Engineered Medical Product Applications (ASTM Committee F.04) provides a more accurate and thorough definition of the term and should be adopted for use in the Standards under E.34s purview