Today’s inquiry came to us from ‘Jerome’ who wanted to know if he could use the 481396-2 Arsenic Quick (2 Tests) test for the purpose of detecting arsenic levels in soil samples.

Can arsenic test kit # 481396-2 be used to test for arsenic in soil? If so, how?

Good afternoon, Jerome, and thank you for this inquiry regarding the Arsenic Quick line of testing products. The Arsenic Quick Test Kits CAN get used for testing soil samples.

We do not have a digital version of the 481396-2’s instruction set online at this time but we DO have a copy of the 481396-5’s instruction set (which includes the procedures for soil testing) at the following link:

Arsenic Quick 481396-2 Test Kit
Arsenic Quick 481396-2 Test Kit

For those curious as to WHY a person would want to test for arsenic in soil, before scientists and health experts realized the dangers of exposure to arsenic it once got used extensively in chemical sprays applied to crops grown for human consumption. The runoff from those sprays eventually found its way into the ground.

Additionally, various industrial processes also used arsenic for a number of reasons and the runoff as well as discharge from facilities often times got returned to the environment as untreated waste — because mankind did not, yet, understand the impact its chemical waste streams had on water quality and the well-being of the environment.

Other things to test for arsenic?

Other common places where a person may still find traces of arsenic include:

Arsenic Quick Test Kit for Wood
Arsenic Quick Test Kit for Wood

  • Old railroad ties
  • Old landscaping timbers
  • Old lumber/wood in general

For a long time, and again most of the arsenic use occurred before people realized the hazards associated with exposure to arsenic, lumber processors used pressure treating sprays that contained arsenic… and you can still find some of those products used in landscaping projects and as borders for children’s playgrounds.

What’s the EPA limit for dissolved arsenic in water?

At this time the United States Environmental Protection Agency has set the action limit for public/municipal water systems at 10ppb (parts per billion). This means that during routine water testing performed at a water treatment facility if the detected limit meets or exceeds 10ppb the facility must immediately take steps to reduce that level.