How to Test for Chromium in Soil


Chromium is one of the naturally occurring elements; traces of chromium can be found in both solid and gas forms. Common places where chromium exists include rocks, volcanic gases, humans and animals, plants and soil. According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, studies show that ingesting hexavalent chromium can lead to cancer. If you suspect that your soil is contaminated with hexavalent chromium, have it tested for the presence of chromium. Testing your soil involves getting a soil sample and taking it to a laboratory that specializes in soil testing.

Step 1

Draw a map of your property for reference. The map does not have to be accurate, or to scale. It is simply to help you determine the locations on your property where you will take your soil sample.

Step 2

Select your first location for a soil sample.

Step 3

Dig a tablespoonful of soil from the surface of your sampling location. Place this sample in your bucket.

Step 4

Dig down another 6 inches and take a second tablespoonful of soil from your sampling location. Place this sample in your bucket.

Step 5

Repeat this process at five locations on your property. Mark each location on your map.

Step 6

Spread out a piece of newspaper. Tip the bucket on its side and spread the soil on the newspaper. Allow the soil to dry before returning it to the bucket.

Step 7

Mix the soil thoroughly in the bucket. Then turn the bucket on its side and tip the contents into a brown paper lunch bag.

Step 8

Take the paper sack to a laboratory that specializes in testing soil. You can contact your local extension of your college's community and continuing education service for laboratories that specialize in testing soil. Take your map along with you. You may be required to give the lab the history of the land, including any fertilization that you may have done in order to help them analyze their results.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Garden trowel
  • Plastic 1-gallon bucket
  • Plastic brown paper lunch bag


  • the Hexavalent Chromium Risk Assessment and Soil Standard Setting Process
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Taking a Soil Sample
  • Chromium

Who Can Help

  • Soil Testing
Keywords: taking a soil sample, testing soil for Chromium, having soil analyzed

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."