Soil testing is an important procedure for determining the suitability of soil for particular crops in farming. In residential and built-up areas, it is done to see if the earth contains any harmful contaminants. Urban soils often have high levels of hydrocarbons, lead, and other heavy metals, which can pose serious health risks, especially to children who are prone to ingesting soil while playing in the outdoors.
Sources of soil contamination
Soils in built-up areas are often polluted even when they do not appear to be. This is especially true for places that have a history of industrial or manufacturing activities. The major causes of contamination of urban soil include improper disposal of waste materials, chemicals used in building and manufacturing, the use of pesticides and herbicides, and oil spills from tanks, machinery, and vehicles. If there is an abandoned underground oil tank on your property, it could also be a key source of contamination.
Major soil contaminants
The most common contaminants in urban soil areas are hydrocarbons (petroleum and fuel residue), pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, solvents and heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Of these, lead is the most harmful to heath. The widespread use of leaded paint and leaded gasoline before the mid-1980s is one of the major reasons for lead contamination in urban soils. Soil contamination usually leads to air and water contamination also.
Effects of soil contamination on health
The main concern with soil contamination is the health risks arising from direct contact with the contaminated soil, air, and water. An indirect manner of contamination is by eating vegetables grown in contaminated soil. Metal contaminants like lead and mercury are absorbed by vegetables. Eating contaminated vegetables can make you ill. Long-term exposure to contaminated soil, water, air, and food can result in organ damage, poisoning by bioaccumulation and even cancer.
The process of soil testing
Soil testing is done in a laboratory using soil samples taken from the property. For each test, samples are collected from several random spots and then mixed thoroughly. For cultivation purposes, the testing is done to check the presence of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, boron, molybdenum and chlorine. A soil rich in these nutrients is good for agriculture.
When detecting soil contamination, the test looks for pollutants like lead, mercury, arsenic, copper, cadmium, barium and zinc. A soil rich in these metals is contaminated. From the point of human health, the most dangerous contaminant is lead. Lead occurs naturally in soil, but any soil that contains above 50 ppm of lead is considered contaminated.
Why should you hire us for soil testing?
We specialize in soil testing in urban sites as well as agricultural land with many years of experience, and we have our own state-of-the-art laboratory to perform the tests. But the real reasons you should hire us are:
- Custom solutions: Every site is different and needs a custom solution. We specialize in creating site-specific solutions
- Cutting-edge technology: We use the latest cutting-edge technology and equipment, which ensures accuracy and precision
- Fewer days and lower costs: We strive to complete each project in the shortest time possible so as to minimize the costs to our customers
- Environmentally-friendly: We are committed to protecting the environment and take pains to make sure that our solutions are environmentally-friendly
- Regulatory requirements: We have the expertise and experience in addressing regulatory requirements for soil testing.
Call us today for professional soil testing
Do you need soil testing to be done on your property? Get in touch with us. You can trust us to provide the highest-quality, environmentally friendly and economical soil testing service. We can come to your property or you can send us a sample of your soil by mail and we’ll get back to you quickly
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