On a housing project located on an old industrial site the levels of arsenic in the soil were such as to give cause for concern.
Rather than remove the material from site, we undertook bio-accessibility testing in order to estimate the fraction of the contaminant soluble in the gastrointestinal tract, and therefore available for absorption into the blood stream. Using these test results we were able to demonstrate that there was no significant risk to human health posed by the soil which could therefore be left in place.
Removal of the soil with elevated arsenic to the required depth of approximately 500mm across the site would have cost an estimated £20,000. This compared with a site visit to collect some near surface samples, testing and report at a cost of around a tenth of this figure.