Public Lab Research note

Reagent-based PAH, VOH, PCB testing kits for soil and water, with pricing

by warren | January 16, 2014 21:23 16 Jan 21:23 | #9951 | #9951

We need established tests to compare our own tests to, even if the established tests are expensive. The new EPA Region 2 Citizen Science page links to some interesting material on field test kits which use reagents -- that is, you eye-drop a bit of a reactive chemical into a sample container and usually look for a color change:

  • The Hanby Field Test Kit - petroleum products and PCBs in soil and water: $1,295 each
  • The Clor-N-Oil and Clor-N-Soil kits - polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in soil and oil - $10 for 10 kits
  • The Dexsil L2000DX analyzer - chlorinated organics in soil, water, dielectric fluids, and surface wipes: $4,333
  • The PetroFLAG™- total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil: $861
  • SiteLab - aromatic compounds derived from petroleum based fuels in soil, sediment, and water: TD500 rents for $900/week
  • The SDI Quick checkmark - total Volatile Organic Halides (VOHs) in soil and water
  • AQR Color-Tec® � total VOHs in soil and water

Parameters that can be assessed using test strips include: free chlorine, pH, arsenic, copper, total dissolved iron, ammonia and nitrite/nitrate. More sophisticated test kits, termed "Water Quality Labs" by the manufacturer, are available and can analyze 20 water quality parameters, such as ammonia, chloride, acidity, alkalinity, hexavalent chromium, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nitrite/nitrate, pH, sulfate, sulfide, and reactive phosphate. These kits are fully portable; reagents and meters and all the disposable supplies needed to run 100 tests for 19-20 parameters are packed into an attach� case. Specialized test kits are available for drinking water, wastewater, storm water and surface water investigations. Test kits can be customized by the manufacturer on request. As some of the tests included in these kits are based on EPA "wet chemistry" methods, the results from the test kit can be considered equivalent to those obtained from an off site laboratory. Single test kits are available for parameters such as zinc, iron, hexavalent chromium, ammonia, arsenic, and lead.


Some of the company sites, like Site-Lab's, outline how to do solvent extraction of samples, and discuss hydrocarbon fingerprinting -- quite good resources:


Login to comment.