soil and sediment testingThrough the development of sophisticated preparation and analytical techniques, Brooks Applied Labs offers among the most reliably low detection limits for trace metals in soils and sediments in the environmental testing industry.

Brooks Applied Labs employs some of the most advanced technologies available to minimize analytical interferences, including dynamic reaction cell (DRC) and collision cell interference reduction technologies associated with all ICP-MS instruments, which are especially useful for the determinations of arsenic, chromium, iron, selenium, and vanadium concentrations in soils and sediments. Through the use of only closed-vessel digestion schemes, Brooks Applied Labs is able to avoid the levels of contamination often associated with more traditional hot plate digestion methods, allowing for more accurate results associated with lower detection limits.

Types of Soil & Sediment Analysis we do:


“True” Total Metals Quantification in Solids
For the determination of a “true” total metals concentration (as opposed to “total recoverable”) in soils, sediments, and other solid samples, an elevated-temperature and pressure multiple-acid digestion procedure dissolves even silicate-bound metals. Samples are closed-vessel oven bomb digested with nitric (HNO3), hydrochloric (HCl), and hydrofluoric (HF) acids.  The HF is evaporated from the digestate with multiple HNO3 additions. This method allows for complete dissolution of most samples with accurate recoveries of the total metals concentrations for even the most difficult of matrices.
Mercury & Methylmercury
As a recognized leader in field of mercury analysis and research, Brooks Applied Labs possesses the unmatched expertise in the analysis of soils and sediments for mercury and methylmercury that only 30+ years experience in the industry can provide. Not only are we the pioneers of these analyses, but we also have some of the lowest detection limits commercially available. Since 1982, Brooks Applied Labs has devoted significant resources to the research and development of the analytical methods necessary to quantify mercury and methylmercury concentrations at ultra-low levels in soils and sediments.
Pore Water Extractions
The extraction of interstitial waters from sediment samples prior to the analyses for trace metals requires particular precautions to prevent potential contamination and oxidative state transformations. Brooks Applied Labs has developed customized procedures that allow the collection of pore water under either standard or anoxic conditions, without compromising the integrity of the sample through inadvertent contamination or exposure to oxygen that could potentially alter the chemical speciation of some metals.
Elutriate Generation
Effectively evaluating the repercussions of dredging projects often entails replicating elutriate generation under controlled conditions in the laboratory. Where trace metals analyses are required, Brooks Applied Labs has developed specialized procedures that ensure an accurate representation of the chemical processes while maintaining an environment that is free from contamination.
Bioavailability
As interest has grown in the regulatory community concerning the bioavailability of metals, Brooks Applied Labs has remained one of the foremost experts in providing commercially-practical solutions for determining the concentrations of various toxic trace metals with specific valence states or characteristics. Through advanced separation techniques, we are able to quantify arsenic species and mercury forms/fractions in soils and sediments. In addition to methods that accurately quantify specific compounds, such as arsenate or methylmercury, sequential selective extractions are also available that can provide excellent information about the bioavailability and mobility of dozens of compounds.

Brooks Applied Labs has some of the lowest detection limits commercially available to our clients. View our MDL & MRL Table.