We recently received a rather interesting question from ‘Chmst411’ who asked, “Are your arsenic test kits dangerous? We want to do an experiment with the kids for a school project but fear the arsenic gas you say gets ‘liberated’ during testing. How dangerous IS that gas and what risk does that acid used pose?”
Having worked with the Arsenic Quick test kits for a number of years now we can honestly say that they do not pose much of a risk at all. To answer your questions more directly, though…
- Liberated Arsenic Gas – While true that this test procedure does generate a very small amount of gaseous arsenic, the volume created poses no risk to test personnel as long as the test gets performed in a normally ventilated room.
- Use of Tartaric Acid – All of the Arsenic Quick test procedures require the use of an acid, true, but the acid in question (tartaric acid) qualifies as a food grade acid rather than a more aggressive industrial grade acid like other test kits use. Use of tartaric acid in the Arsenic Quick test procedure poses no real danger to test personnel.
So… should you fear the Arsenic Quick Test Kits because they use an acid as a reagent and generate a small amount of arsenic gas? Not in our opinion — and as we said, we have used them many times in the past 7+ years.
Compared to the other methods available to the public for testing drinking or ground water for free, dissolved arsenic, the Arsenic Quick line of arsenic test kits have a shorter total test time, safer reagents and simpler instruction set. And yes, we have used other arsenic test kits manufactured by other companies, as well.