This test measures Mercury levels in the blood. Most people are exposed to small amounts of mercury in the environment which do not cause health problems. However, exposure to large amounts of mercury or chronic exposure over a long period of time can result in health complications. One of the most common sources of mercury exposure is through eating certain types of fish or seafood. Mercury exposure can also happen in industrial settings such as those which produce electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals and some types of chemicals. Symptoms of mercury exposure can include burning in the mouth or lungs, difficulty breathing, difficulty urinating, increased heart rate, fever, chills, headache, nausea, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Over time, mercury poisoning can affect the lungs, kidneys and nervous system.
This test is typically ordered when a person is experiencing symptoms of mercury poisoning or believes they may be at risk for exposure. Mercury testing may be ordered along with a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) and Complete Blood Count (CBC) for a more thorough analysis.
Blood testing is typically used to measure exposure to methyl or organic mercury such as that found in seafood. A Urine Mercury test is more appropriate for exposure to inorganic mercury. Please note that although blood testing is not typically used to detect occupational mercury exposure, a reference interval for occupational exposure will be included on the test results.
Turnaround time for this test is typically 1-2 business days.
Note: Result turn around times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.
Customers ordering the Mercury, Blood test for industrial exposure monitoring should have their collection done at the end of the work week or after 4-5 consecutive days of exposure. Proper timing is critical for accurate monitoring of exposure levels.
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