Mercury, Blood Most Popular

The Mercury, Blood test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Description: Mercury is a blood test that is used to evaluate the amount of mercury in the blood. Mercury in large amounts can be poisonous. It can also be dangerous for pregnant women to have increased levels of mercury.

Also Known As: Hg Test, Hg Blood Test, Mercury Blood Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Whole Blood

Test Preparation: Avoid seafood consumption for 48 hours prior to sample collection

When is a Mercury test ordered?

When a person exhibits signs and symptoms that point to high mercury exposure, mercury testing may be recommended. Chronically exposed people may get nonspecific symptoms including the lungs, kidneys, and neurological system.

When it is known that a person has been exposed to mercury, testing may be done even if there are no symptoms to help determine the degree of the exposure.

Mercury readings, together with tests to detect lead and/or other heavy metals, may be ordered on a regular basis as a monitoring tool for those who work in industries that use mercury, and for those who work with a variety of potentially hazardous compounds.

What does a Mercury blood test check for?

Mercury is a toxic element that comes in a variety of forms. Mercury can be present in trace amounts in the environment. It is emitted as a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion and waste incineration, as well as the decomposition of minerals in rocks and soils. It is inhaled through our lungs, absorbed through our skin, and eaten through food. Some mirror coatings, medicines, and agricultural compounds include mercury. Small amounts of mercury are used in the production of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, as well as electrical equipment, cable, and switching devices.

The minuscule amounts to which the great majority of people are exposed are generally not harmful to their health. People may acquire mercury-related symptoms or issues if they are exposed to high levels of mercury, such as those found at a hazardous waste site, or if they are exposed to mercury over a long period of time, particularly if they deal with heavy metals.

Mercury poisoning can occur if you are exposed to too much of it. The type of mercury, its quantity, and the nature of exposure all influence how much mercury a person absorbs and how it affects his or her health. Metallic mercury is absorbed relatively little by the body, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, even if it is consumed. When the same mercury is inhaled as a vapor, however, around 80% of it gets absorbed into the bloodstream.

The digestive tract absorbs about 95 percent of methyl mercury, which is found in fish and other shellfish. Consumption of contaminated seafood is the most common source of human exposure to methyl mercury. Fish from contaminated waters, as well as large predator fish that have devoured smaller fish, may have much higher methyl mercury levels. It's critical to know where your fish comes from and to keep the amount of large predator fish you eat to a minimum.

Mercury can be deposited in a range of body organs, including the kidneys and the brain, once it has been ingested. Mercury is slowly excreted by the body through urine and feces, but if an excessive amount accumulates, it can harm the kidneys, neurological system, and brain permanently.

Mercury can be passed on to an unborn baby by pregnant women with high mercury levels, impairing the development of the infant's brain, kidneys, and nerves in particular. Mercury can also be transmitted from mother to child via breast milk during breastfeeding.

Lab tests often ordered with a Mercury test:

  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Heavy Metals
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)

Conditions where a Mercury test is recommended:

  • Pregnancy
  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Mercury Poisoning

How does my health care provider use a Mercury test?

Mercury testing is performed to determine whether a person's blood has an excessive amount of mercury. A health practitioner may order it to identify whether a person has been exposed to a dangerous quantity of mercury for a short period of time or for an extended period of time. Testing can also be used to keep track of those who may be exposed to mercury at work.

The presence of methyl mercury in the blood is the most common test. Other types of mercury can be found in the blood, but as the mercury goes into organs including the brain and kidneys, the amount found in the blood decreases by half every three days. As a result, blood tests must be performed within days of a possible exposure.

Other common laboratory tests may be used to assess the health of various organ systems in someone who has been exposed to dangerous levels of mercury or is suspected of having been exposed. A complete metabolic panel and a complete blood count are two examples.

What do my Mercury test results mean?

Mercury levels in the blood are generally relatively low. A test result of no mercury or a low level of mercury shows that the individual examined was not exposed to high quantities of mercury, at least not during the time period covered by the test.

A higher mercury level in the blood indicates that you were exposed to mercury recently. A blood level of more than 10 mcg/L indicates an extraordinary degree of exposure for someone who does not work with mercury on a regular basis.

Mercury levels in the blood or urine do not reflect the type or amount of mercury to which a person was exposed.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Mercury Blood

Mercury, Blood

*Process times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.

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