Should I test Test My Soil for Contaminants?

Our gardener decision tool, Check Your Dirt NC!, can help garden managers identify possible sources of contaminants near the garden and recognize other risk factors associated with garden management practices. This information may help you decide whether to test your soil for specific contaminants and will direct you to more resources on how to test your soils and interpret the results.

Check out the tool, which was co-developed with the NC State Extension Gardener Program, by clicking this link:

Soil Testing Services

Did you know?
Soil nutrient tests—like the soil tests offered by Agricultural Extension services—do not test for soil contaminants like lead, arsenic, pesticide residues or other persistent chemicals.

Testing Services for Nutrients and pH: NC Department of Agriculture: Basic soil testing is offered for free to North Carolina residents for most of the year (a peak season fee of $4 is added for each sample submitted December 1- March 31). More information about testing can be found here. To find your local NC State Extension County agent, check here.

Testing Services for Heavy Metals and Organics

— Prism Laboratories:
— Meritech Labs:
— ENCO Labs:
— Waters Agricultural Laboratories, Inc. (This lab only offers heavy metals testing):
— Cornell University:

Testing Services for Dioxins: Cape Fear Analytical – GEL:

Testing Services for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), excluding dioxins: Red Lab LLC: