Testing for lead in soil
Name: Doug E Paradis
My son is exploring a potential science fair project that requires a number of
soil samples be analyzed for the presence of lead. Is there a simple method
to measure the level of lead in a soil sample?
Costs are a major concern. My
questions are how would you prepare the soil sample and how do you a
quantitative determination of the amount of lead present in the sample?
Glad to see you are taking an active interest in your son's education. Here
are some journal articles that might help get him started:
J Teichman, et al. "A Survey of Lead Contamination in Soil" American
Industrial Hygiene Association Journal, Volume 54, September 1993, page 557.
B. Wixson "Guidelines for Lead in Soil" Environmental Science and Technology,
Volume 28, January 1994, page 26A
Body, et al. "Environmental Lead: A Review" Critical Reviews in
Environmental Control, Volume 20, Number 5 & 6, 1991 page 299.
S. Krishnamurthy "Extraction and Recovery of Lead From Soil" Environmental
Progress, Volume 11, November 1992, page 256.
C. Sill "Determination of Lead-210 in Standard Samples of Soil" Analytical
Chemistry, Volume 60, February 15, 1988, page 320.
Ask your librarian how to do an inter-library loan if you cannot find these on
the shelf (you may need to use a University research library). Also, maybe
the "Chemistry" section could answer your question about how to test soil for
Click here to return to the Environmental Science
Update: June 2012