Beta Analytic’s Policy on Returning Excess Samples

  • Excess samples are archived for a few months as part of the lab’s Quality Assurance measure.
  • All samples are incinerated when the retention period lapses.
  • We cannot return soil and water samples.

Archival Sample Retention Period

When a sample submitted is sufficient in size to allow a small amount of excess original and/or pretreated sample to be archived, the laboratory will archive the sample for a few months following the time of reporting / release of results. This is done as an internal Quality Assurance measure to allow for back-up analyses or additional investigations to be performed, if needed.

Following this retention period, all sample bags and excess sample materials (original and pretreated) will be disposed by incineration.

Requests for Sample Returns

If you require the return of any unused original or pretreated excess sample materials, your request MUST be made in writing in one of the following ways (we may not be able to honor later requests):

1. At the time of submission

    Please note on the online form that you want your extra samples returned. Alternatively, you can email the lab.

2. Following acknowledgement of sample receipt

3. At the time of reporting

Please indicate the shipping address and delivery option:

– Regular US parcel post (costs may apply for heavy/international shipments) – Package is not traceable and we have no responsibility outside of shipping it back. Note: We do not send back bulky containers via USPS.


– FedEx / UPS – Package is traceable. Additional charges will be due. Credit card information is required to pay for the shipping costs.

If you have a FedEx, UPS or DHL account and would prefer to send it through their service, please provide us your account number. We can also prepay and invoice you directly the shipping costs.

We Cannot Return Materials Classified as Soil

AMS dating target wheel
We are unable to return any samples that are classified as “Soil” per the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Circular “Q-330.300-1, Soil (01/2010) Revised” regardless of origin. The term “Soil” may include, but is not limited to, sediments, paleosols, gyttja, peat, ash, topsoil, mud, drilling cores, etc. Materials classified as “Soils” will be chemically treated and/or incinerated by an approved USDA Soil Treatment Facility.

Please note that soil samples received from foreign countries as well as many US States must be handled in accordance with the guidelines established by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). These guidelines require that imported soil materials are treated either chemically or by heat on receipt and that they are eventually disposed by incineration. As such, the soil samples received at our laboratory will be disposed in this manner, and we unfortunately cannot return them.

We recommend that you send only as much sediment as needed for the analysis. We can help advise as to how much may be required, but in all cases the amount sent should never exceed 200 grams. Please note that most organic sediment samples sent for AMS dating require only 2-4 grams or less depending on the carbon content.

If you have any questions regarding archival sample retention time or sample returns, please contact the lab.

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