Analysis of Arsenic and Lead in Soil - Overview

For decades, field portable X-ray fluorescence (XRF) has provided rapid, on-site measurements of metals contamination in soil. The purpose of such assessments was the identification and remediation of contaminated soil.

In 1998, EPA incorporated Method 6200 for portable XRF into SW-846 as a standard method. The handheld XRF analyzer provides on-the-spot quality data about elements critical to the analysis of metals in soil. The HHXRF offers simultaneous analysis of 20-25 metals including all eight RCRA metals and the EPA priority pollutant metals.

Two of the most common metals requiring field analysis are lead (Pb) and arsenic (As). Interestingly, while both of these elements are ideal candidates for XRF analysis, analyzing As in the presence of high Pb concentration presents some challenges, whereas high As content has no effect on the analysis of Pb.
Handheld XRF Analyzers test for dangerously high levels of RCRA, Priority Pollutant and Hazardous Metals in seconds. HHXRF is used for soils and sediments according to EPA 6200 and other SOPs, filters per NIOSH or OSHA methods, screening surfaces and measuring dust wipes for Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Hg and more.
Analyze more samples more efficiently for quick and accurate on-site assessments. Test for metals in soil, filter media, dust wipes, thin films, paints and coatings, oils and liquids, and hazardous waste. Screen sites for heavy metal pollutants quickly and effectively. Monitor contaminants and nutrients for safe and appropriate land use. Reduce time and costs of regulatory compliance.

The XRF is ideal for immediate identification of heavy metals in soil at low PPM levels. This is necessary to ensure safety prior to developing or renovating schools, community centers, residences and play & sports grounds. This is of particular importance when developing these properties on former landfills, industrial sites, orchards, animal farms, Brownfields or anywhere that toxic metals are likely to be found in large quantities. And, when older homes or buildings are being redeveloped, restored or painted, the XRF is ideal for quickly identifying lead (Pb) in soils, on surfaces and in lead based paint (LBP) to ensure the safety of the project.