Degradation and Toxicity

Protect the environment

Fresh water testing.

Fresh water degradation

Specific consumer products, such as detergents or flushable wipes and refills, can inevitably end up in a fresh water environment. Biodegradability of these products helps to prevent any kind of damage to the ecosystem. Normec OWS offers different types of fresh water degradation testing to determine the degradation and chemical characteristics of materials in accordance with the available standards.

Why Normec OWS?

  • Independent laboratory
  • Recognized worldwide
  • Expert in the field

Testing purposes

The outcome of our test can be used for different purposes, such as certification, making marketing or legal claims, or for supporting research & development.

The main certificate for fresh water degradation is the European OK Biodegradable WATER certificate, issued by TÜV AUSTRIA, which requires testing for biodegradation and heavy metals and fluor.

The latter is to ensure that the threshold values stipulated in the EN 13432 standard are not surpassed as this could negatively affect water quality.

Certification requirement

The certification requirement for biodegradation in fresh water, in accordance with the ISO 14851 test method, is 90% carbon to CO2 conversion to be reached within eight weeks.

We also offer biodegradation testing according to the OECD 301F (MITI) and OECD 301B (Sturm) standards. These can be used to prove ready (>60%) or inherent (20 – 60%) biodegradation within 28 days.


Besides certification conditions, we also offer testing under screening conditions for research & development purposes.

Optionally, we offer dispersibility/solubility testing for our clients, in accordance with the EN 14987 standards, which show how well a material is dispersed or solubilized in fresh water. We also offer optional quantitative and qualitative disintegration testing.

Curious what Normec OWS can do for your company?

Request a quote

All frequently asked questions
in a row

Is Normec OWS ISO 17025 accredited?

Yes, we are recognized by DIN CERTCO in line with ISO 17025. This accreditation covers all test procedures and standards with regard to compostability and biodegradation. Additionally, we are ISO 17025 accredited by BELAC for our compost analyses and also recognized by TÜV Austria. Normec OWS is also ISO 17020 accredited for inspection services and ISO 14001 approved for environmental management. View our recognitions & certificates.

Where is Normec OWS located?

Our main offices are located in Ghent, Belgium. We also have a subsidiary located in Kettering, Ohio to serve the needs of our American customers.

How long does testing take?

Testing duration depends on the specific type of test and the product itself. This can range from a couple of weeks for material characteristics testing, to months or even years for biodegradation testing. As these are microbial processes, we cannot predict the exact duration beforehand.