Land use frequently changes over time, however past land practices can have lasting effects on the composition of the soil. As a result it is recommended that soil should be tested for common soil contaminants in order to determine whether the soil could be damaging to human health or require remediation.
About this Testing
Soil may become contaminated with a wide variety of chemicals, e.g. hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and pesticides to name a few. Testing for different sites is governed by different guidelines, as detailed in the Ministry for the Environment website.
Not all contaminants have official guidelines, and even it there is, the use of the appropriate guideline is often dependent on the situation. If you are uncertain about what you need, we recommend that you contact one of our friendly Client Service Managers, who will be happy to help you determine what testing may be best for your needs.
Hydrocarbons can enter the environment either naturally, from spills, by leakage from storage facilities or from deliberate application (for example road surfaces). Hydrocarbons can impact the environment in a number of ways, including creating risk of illness, due to toxicity, or danger from flammability or explosions. As such it is important to understand the level of hydrocarbon contamination within soil. For a more complete listing of our soil testing options and the associated test details, simply download our easy-to-read technical note specifically designed for soil testing.
DDT is an Organochlorine pesticide which was applied in pelletised form to agricultural pastures to control grass grub from the late 1940's until 1970, when it was banned in New Zealand. Concern over the environmental persistence of DDT, alleged carcinogenicity and observed bio-accumulation and magnification in the food chain led to its ban for agricultural use worldwide. Dairy cows ingest DDT contaminated soil during grazing. In the cow's stomach, DDT is removed from the soil and converted into DDE before accumulating in fatty tissue and milk. In addition to human health concerns over DDT and its isomers, farms producing milk with elevated DDT levels suffer financial penalties and for this reason it is imperative that new farms are tested for DDT prior to conversion to Dairy. To order a DDT soil test download a copy of our sample submission form and send us your sample, or contact one of our friendly Client Service Managers and they will help walk you through the process.
Soil may become contaminated for many reasons. Many soil contaminants, such as heavy metals remain in biologically accessible states for extended periods of time, which means that they can bio-accumulate in fruits, vegetables and potentially humans. As such testing soil, water, fruits and vegetables for heavy metals is commonplace. Hill Laboratories has an extensive suite of heavy metal tests for use on everything from soil through to honey. Our technical notes will help guide you through what test may be right for your needs, or you can always call our friendly Client Service Managers who will be happy to help you understand what test options may best fit your situation.
Pesticides are a valuable tool used in most agricultural systems, however their accumulation and distribution into soils can have detrimental effects. To help understand pesticide contamination, Hill Laboratories has developed an extensive array of IANZ accredited test options. For a more complete listing of our soil testing options and the associated test details or to request a sample collection kit, simply call us or complete the form below and we will be happy to help you decide what test is best for your particular needs.