TCLP Testing

We offer both 48-hour and 72-hour testing services for TCLP metals


What is TCLP Test?

TCLP or Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure is a chemical analysis process used to determine whether there are hazardous elements present in a waste. The test involves a simulation of leaching through a landfill and can provide a rating that can prove if the waste is dangerous to the environment or not. This rating can dictate the waste management methodology that the company adopts to dispose of the waste afterwards. Our lab provides 48-72 hour TCLP metals and TCLP volatiles testing at an extremely good price.Phoslab is a leading certified and accredited environmental services provider in Central Florida. We offer both 48-hour and 72-hour testing services for TCLP metals and volatiles at no extra charge. Our clients include engineering firms, manufacturing facilities and agricultural companies who are concerned with federal, state and local regulatory compliance. Call 863-279-4526 to discuss your laboratory testing needs or continue reading to learn more about the TCLP testing procedure and how it can benefit your business.

How much does a TCLP test cost?

A standard TCLP test typically costs between $750 and $1,800 depending on several factors such as sample material and turn around time. The only way to get custom TCLP test costs is to call a testing lab with all necessary information about your particular needs.

About TCLP

The Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure test determines:

  • The mobility of organic and inorganic contaminants in waste materials
  • Hazardous and nonhazardous wastes for disposal in the appropriate landfill
  • How percolating liquids may react with solid waste in simulated landfill conditions
  • The amount of EPA-listed contaminants are present and likely to be absorbed into soil and groundwater
  • What possible public health or environmental health hazards exist in the sludge being tested.

TCLP analysis is helpful in exploring all possible options for the safe disposal of hazardous material. Disposing of contaminated waste can cost as little as $20/ton to as much as $500/ton, so it’s good to know what you’re dealing with before you get to the Environmental Compliance Supervisor at the municipal landfill.

The TCLP Test

Our TCLP method is identical to the procedure detailed by the Environmental Protection Agency:

  1. Separation of liquid wastes: Liquids (containing less than 0.5% dry solid material) are filtered through glass fiber to create a TCLP extract. Wastes (containing 0.5% or greater dry matter) are separated and stored for later analysis.
  1. Particle size reduction: Using a standard 9.5 mm sieve, we filter solid material and prepare it for extraction by cutting, crushing or grinding to a particle size of 1 cm or less.
  1. Extraction of solid material: The solid material is then extracted for at least 18 hours with a slightly acidic fluid equal to 20 times its weight. The materials are placed in a tumbler to simulate the leaching action of water seeping through waste in the landfill.
  1. Final separation: The liquid waste is then separated from the solid waste through a fiber glass filter. The solid material is discarded and the liquid components are then assessed. The initial liquid components may be added or may be analyzed separately, depending on compatibility.
  1. TCLP testing analysis: Lastly, we identify and quantify all inorganic and organic materials using EPA-approved methods.

What are the TCLP Metals?

The TCLP test assesses eight different metals for categorization and regulatory compliance purposes, including:

Metal TCLP Limit 20 x TCLP Limit
 Arsenic  5.0  100
Barium 100 2000
Cadmium 1.0 20
Chromium 5.0 100
Lead 5.0 100
Mercury 0.2 4
Selenium 1.0 20
Silver 5.0 100


During the TCLP procedure, the solid test sample is diluted with extraction fluid that is 20 times the weight of the sample. The total concentration results are then divided by 20 and compared to the TCLP regulatory limits. If the number is lower than the TCLP limit, then the waste cannot leach enough chemical into soil and ground water to be considered “toxicity characteristic” hazardous waste.

In some cases, an initial total analysis of the waste reveals that the individual contaminants are not present or are at such low concentration levels that the TCLP limits could not possibly be exceeded – in which case a TCLP test may not be needed.

Other TCLP Limits

In addition to testing for eight toxic metals, the TCLP method also assesses waste materials for 32 organic compounds, including:

TCLP Regulatory Level, mg/L
Benzene 0.5
Carbon Tetrachloride 0.5
Chlorobenzene 100.0
chloroform 6.0
1,4-Dichlorobenzene 7.5
1,2-Dichloroethane 0.5
1,1-Dichloroethylene 0.7
Methyl Ethyl Ketone 200.0
Tetrachloroethylene 0.7
Trichloroethylene 0.5
Vinyl Chloride 0.2
TCLP Regulatory Level, mg/L
o-Cresol 1 200
m-Cresol 1 200
p-Cresol 1 200
Cresol 1 200
2,4-Dinitrotoluene 0.13
Hexachlorobenzene 0.13
Hexachlorobutadiene 0.5
Hexachloroethane 3.0
Nitrobenzene 2.0
Pentachlorophenol 100.0
Pyridine 2 5.0
2,4,5-Trichlorophenol 400.0
2,4,6-Trichlorophenol 2.0
TCLP Regulatory Level, mg/L
Chlordane 0.03
Endrin 0.02
Heptachlor (and its Epoxide) 0.008
Lindane 0.4
Methoxychlor 10.0
Toxaphene 0.5
TCLP Regulatory Level, mg/L
2,4-D 10.0
2,4,5-TP (Silvex) 1.0


The results of the test must fall below TCLP regulatory limits to ensure that all waste is TCLP compliant and able to be processed to a landfill without special considerations for public health and safety.

Other toxicity characteristic leaching procedures

In addition to the TCLP method, there are several other leaching procedures that may be ordered for different purposes. The TCLP test in particular simulates the “worst case scenario” of what might happen with your waste in a municipal landfill. Alternate tests include:

Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP): This test simulates the effects of normal precipitation on the waste.

Extraction Procedure Toxicity Test (EP-TOX): This test simulates the leaching waste from agitation in a sanitary landfill. Column Test: This test simulates the effect of percolating groundwater through a porous layer of granular material.

Benefits of TCLP testing in Florida

Responsible businesses are concerned with adhering to regulatory standards and laws to avoid stiff penalties and fines, not to mention reckless degradation of the environment. In-depth knowledge of the chemical components within contaminated sludge is necessary for appropriate remedial action to minimize health risks and environmental pollution.

Compared to these other tests, the TCLP method is relatively inexpensive and offers precise data for the classification of waste as “hazardous” or “nonhazardous.” Following appropriate testing, you can then make the best determination for waste treatment and safe disposal.

Phoslab has been a trusted company for more than 40 years, with recognition and accreditation from the State of Florida Department of Health and the State Surgeon General. We employ the most up-to-date technology to ensure accurate results. Call 863-279-4526 to discuss your TCLP testing needs.

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