Many materials can release substances into the environment, either through outgassing or through leaching on contact with rainwater. Weather influences (e.g. UV light) can also chemically alter the constituents of materials. If and how constituents and their transformation products interact with the environment, and whether they have a negative impact on the ecosystem, is increasingly the subject of public discussion.
The environmental properties of materials can be determined in two ways: either by chemically analyzing the substances that can be released or by using ecotoxicological test methods to investigate the effects of a material sample on living organisms. Trace analysis identifies known substances and determines their concentrations, while ecotoxicological test methods document the impact of all released substances.
We only use eluates obtained under laboratory conditions (mixture of solvents and dissolved substances) when carrying out standardized testing and assessment procedures. The properties of building materials can also be studied under real climatic conditions at our field test site. By combining the results of laboratory and field studies, we are able to test and further develop existing assessment concepts with regard to their practical relevance.