Biodegradation is the chemical dissolution of materials by bacteria, fungi or other biological means. Although often conflated, biodegradable is distinct in meaning from compostable. While biodegradable simply means to be consumed by microorganisms and return to compounds found in nature, “compostable” makes the specific demand that the object break down under composting conditions. The term is often used in relation to ecology, waste management, biomedicine, and the natural environment (bioremediation) and is now commonly associated with environmentally friendly products that are capable of decomposing back into natural elements. Organic material can be degraded aerobically with oxygen, or anaerobically, without oxygen. Biosurfactant, an extracellular surfactant secreted by microorganisms, enhances the biodegradation process. Biodegradable matter is generally organic material such as plant and animal matter and other substances originating from living organisms, or artificial materials that are similar enough to plant and animal matter to be put to use by microorganisms. Some microorganisms have a naturally occurring, microbial catabolic diversity to degrade, transform or accumulate a huge range of compounds including hydrocarbons (e.g. oil), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pharmaceutical substances, radionuclides, pesticides, and metals. Decomposition of biodegradable substances may include both biological and abiotic steps. Products that contain biodegradable matter and non-biodegradable matter are often marketed as biodegradable. Monona Rossol wrote that “biodegradable substances break down into more than one set of chemicals, which are usually called primary and secondary degradation products. Any of these may be toxic.”