The present study was conducted to (i) determine the precision and accuracy of arsenic measurement in soil samples using ST-EDXRF by comparison with the results of ICP-MS analyses and (ii) identify the relationship of As concentration with soil characteristics. For the analysis of samples, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (EDXRF) were performed. According to the results found in the soil samples, the addition of HCl to HNO3, used for the digestion gave significant variations in the recovery of As. However, spectral interferences between peaks for As and Pb can affect detection limits and accuracy for XRF analysis. When comparing the XRF and ICP-MS results a correlation was observed with R-2 = 0.8414. This means that using a ST-EDXRF spectrometer, it is possible to achieve accurate and precise analysis by the calibration of certified reference materials and choosing an appropriate secondary target. On the other hand, with regard to soil characteristics analyses, the study highlighted that As is mostly anthropogenically enriched in the studied area. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.