Various metals are found in our environment, and although some, such as iron and zinc, are harmless, others, such as lead and arsenic, are associated with severe health problems. That’s why heavy metals testing is a key to improve your production.
This is why Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emphasizes that all the products released for human consumption should be free from harmful heavy metals. This brings about one question, “How do you keep your products free from heavy metals?”
To ensure you produce high-quality products that are free from harmful metals, you need to start by testing your soil in appropriate heavy metals testing labs. In this post, we will tell you how to identify a good third party laboratory for testing your soil or samples.
What are Heavy Metals?
Metals are natural constituents that naturally exist in the ecosystem. They are characterized with high electrical conductivity, meaning that they easily lose electrons to form cations.
They can be found in the earth crust, atmosphere, water, and can even accumulate in the tissues of living organisms.
If you are a farmer, you should particularly be concerned about the heavy metals because they are harmful to the environment. Here is a breakdown of some of the most dangerous heavy metals and their effects.
Arsenic is the 20th most abundant element on the earth, and many inorganic forms of arsenic, such as arsenate and arsenite compounds, are lethal to human and other living organisms. Some common sources of arsenic in the environment include pesticides, fungicides, and wood preservatives.
Exposure to arsenic, especially over a long period, has been associated with problems such as cancer of the skin, liver-disease, diabetes, nervous system complications, and death.
Lead is another dangerous metal that is associated with a wide array of diseases, including anemia, and kidney and brain damages. Prolonged and high exposure to lead can cause death. Some of the common sources of lead in the environment include industrial battery storage, vehicle exhausts, and plumbing lines.
This metal is mainly used in the production of paints and alkaline batteries processing. It can also be part of the fertilizer used to improve the fertility of the farms.
High exposure to cadmium is associated with problems in the body’s cardiovascular, renal, and neurological systems.
As you can see, metals, especially heavy metals are very dangerous and no product containing them in high levels should be allowed into the market. This is why you need to work with good third party metal testing labs to test your soil and determine whether it has high levels of harmful metals.
How to Identify the Best Heavy Metals Testing Labs?
One of the best methods of growing crops that are free from harmful metals is by testing the soil. For example, a hemp farmer might want to know the levels of heavy metals in his farms in order to determine its suitability for commercial help farming. So, here are some great tips to help you pick the best laboratory.
Ability to Do the Tests Rapidly
For most farmers, soil testing is done to help them make the right decisions about their faming ventures. Therefore, you should look for a laboratory that can do the tests and give the reports as fast as possible.
So, reach the management of the selected laboratory to enquire how fast they can complete the testing, and only work with the one capable of offering the results as fast as possible. You might also want to know about the programs that the laboratory has installed to ensure that samples get to the lab as fast as possible.
Authorized to Offer Soil Testing Services in Your Region
Companies offering laboratory testing services are required to have the necessary licenses allowing them to operate in specific regions.
For example, a farmer in Texas might want to know, “Is this laboratory allowed to offer its services in my farming region?”
For example, Sante Laboratories organization has its offices based in Austin, and is allowed to offer soil testing in the entire state. So, you can count on them for help with your soil testing.
Commitment to Helping Farmers Improve their Productivity
For farmer, testing their soil samples for metals and fertility is not enough. The bigger goal is how they can be able to optimize the production of healthy and safe products. Therefore, you should look for a lab testing organization that is willing to help you improve your production.
Since its creation, Sante Laboratories has been on a mission to address the challenges that farmers face. In addition to testing their samples fast, Sante Lab experts also help farmers in the hemp industry, especially during their early years of production, to get everything they need to succeed.
So, you too, can work with them because they will not hesitate to hold your hand and show you the way.
The best third-party testing lab is the one that is able to test your samples fast and relay the results as they are without any bias. This is why you should focus on the laboratories that do not have any interest in the supply chain of the hemp or the product that you want to be tested.
Transparency is very important because it means you get a clear picture of the heavy metals in your soil or product. Therefore, you will adopt the best soil management strategy to help you produce quality and acceptable products for the market.
For example, if you notice that a section of your land has high levels of lead (check FDA website), you might consider using the one that is free from the heavy metals for planting crops, and then adopt the right method of soil restoration to clear the harmful component.
If you select good metal testing labs, their experts will come in handy in helping you get the right solution for your field. Well, do not wait until the products are nabbed in the market because they have high levels of harmful metals; start by working with experts in soil testing to tell you how you can make quality and safe products.
When it comes to soil testing, there is no doubt that some costs will be incurred as laboratory testing fees. However, this is a necessary expense because you get the information needed to optimize production of your crops.
To make the process cheaper, you should look for the company that has installed good programs to help cut the cost of testing. One such program is the partnership between Sante laboratories and Lone Star Overnight (LSO).
The partnership is aimed at helping farmers to get their samples from all over Texas to the Sante laboratory in Austin fast.
The good news about the partnership is that shipping samples will be free because of the partnerships. All that a farmer needs to do is getting the same of his soil and passing it to LSO, which will get it to Sante Labs in less than 15 days. Heavy metals testing is an excellent value for money.
Commitment to Delivering Value
Because of the fast-rising number of farmers in the hemp industry, which is expected to continue rising in the coming years, more laboratories have sprung up and are offering the testing services, but you should only pick the one that is committed to delivering value to farmers.
To know if a company is focused on helping farmers, it should have its mission clearly drawn to help you achieve your goals.
At Sante Laboratories, it is not just about testing the samples that they send. Instead, the experts at the laboratory will go to any length to help you understand the best strategies for better production. For example, they only work with experts who have a lot of experience in soil science; so you can count on them to know the right fertilizer to use for higher production.
Ability to Run All Your Tests : Heavy metals testing
While your primary focus at this point is metal testing, we recommend that you only use the laboratory that is capable of testing all the samples that you might have.
This is where Sante Laboratories stand out from its peers. In addition to checking your soil for heavy metals, they can also check it for other parameters, such as pH, nutrients, and contamination.
Once your plants are ready for the market, Sante Labs will also be there to help you test them and confirm that you have the best. If you are in the hemp industry, Sante Labs can help to further check the cannabinoid profile, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), bio-contaminants, and terpenes.
If you are a farmer and want to reap more from your venture, it is important to put a lot of effort into ensuring your plants have the right nutrients and the soil is free from harmful metals and other contaminants. Working with good metal testing labs such as Sante Laboratories can help you to increase the quality and quantity of farm production. With experts on your side, you cannot go wrong.