Soil and Biota Analysis

Soil testing and the implications of soil health

Protecting the health of our soil, and the animals and plants that call it home

Soil contamination is caused by industrial waste discharge, sewage discharge, agrichemical application, oil and fuel dumping, and leaching of waste from landfills, among other sources. Waste ultimately threatens the environment, plant and animal health, our food supply, general public health, and safe and sustainable farming. Common soil contaminants can range from persistent organic pollutants (POPs), pharmaceuticals and personal health care products (PPCPs), and petroleum-based and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), as well as lead and other heavy metals.

It is not only important to test for and monitor soil contaminants, but evaluating the exposure of humans, plants and animals to contaminants and mitigating exposure important for the long term.

LC coupled with mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) offers a many advantages for trace-level analysis of medium-polar, polar, and ionic compounds in soil samples. Applications of LC/MS/MS for soil testing include:

  • Identification and quantitation of 1,000s of compounds down to the ng/L level
  • Robustness and selectivity for analysis of complex soil, biota and biosolid matrices
  • High sensitivity for contaminant detection, reducing a need for compound derivatization

Naphthenic acid analysis from oil sand deposits

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