Figure 1: Adam Martin is using the
hand-held XRF in the field. This method
has the advantage of giving a result
straight away and helps deciding which
samples should be send to a Laboratory to
get a more precise answer.
Figure 2: Diagram showing the principle of the XRF device.
Figure 3: Lead (Pb) versus arsenic (As) plot for hand-held and lab XRF.
This instrument was used to analyse soil compositions at various locations around Dunedin City as part of an urban geochemical baseline survey to help assess the state of the environment in our cities. This provides a chemical snapshot that can be used to assess human and geological influences. The measurements so far of lead (Pb) and arsenic (As) concentration by hand-held XRF are comparable to Pb and As concentrations measured by lab XRF (taken from a more regional soil study as shown in the graphic opposite in Figure 3). These results show that Dunedin City soil has safe levels of Pb and As and that hand-held XRF results can be used to supplement laboratory XRF data for certain elements.