Although natural elements from the earth, some metals are extremely toxic, even in low doses. They can have damaging effects on the human body, especially the lungs and kidneys. There are several ways you can be exposed to metals, including from the air, household products, or contaminated food or drinks. Testing is especially important for individuals who work with heavy metals. These occupations include: construction work, radiator repair shops, mining, and firing ranges. Heavy metals testing is used to screen for or diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning in those may have been chronically or acutely exposed to one or more heavy metals. It is also used to monitor excessive metal concentrations in those who work in jobs like the ones mentioned above.
This test may be ordered by your healthcare provider if it is suspected that you have been chronically or acutely exposed to one or more heavy metals. The signs and symptoms of exposure will vary in nature and intensity, depending upon the type and quantity of the metal involved. Even if there are no symptom, or non specific symptoms, excessive exposure and damage to organs can occur. Early symptoms can be missed because the symptoms may be non specific. Some signs of heavy metals poisoning may include: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, numbness, tingling of hands and feet, weakness, kidney damage, anemia, liver damage, lungs: irritation, edema, brain dysfunction, memory loss, mees lines, children: malformed or weakened bones, pregnant women: miscarriage, premature labor.
A dangerous metal that can be found in many products, even small amounts can cause serious health problems. Children under 6 years of age are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning. Lead can severely affect mental and physical development in children. It can be fatal at very high levels. Lead can be found in products such as paint (in older houses), batteries, cigarettes-including secondhand smoke, and other products. Overexposure can cause cerebral edema, coma, and convulsions.
Liquid at room temperature, mercury is a shiny grey metal. It can be found in thermometers, barometers, electrical switches, and fluorescent lighting. Mercury can also be found in paint in older homes. Symptoms of mercury poisoning depends on the type, dose, method, and the duration of exposure. Symptoms may include: muscle weakness, numbness in hands and feet, poor coordination, anxiety, skin rashes, memory problems, trouble with speech, trouble hearing, or trouble seeing. Long term exposure may include kidney problems and decreased intelligence.
Usually used to preserve wood, arsenic is a natural element usually found in minerals and soil. Exposure can occur in many forms including small amounts through the water or air, food, and working in occupations where arsenic is made or used. Chronic exposure can cause severe health problems, and can be fatal. Symptoms can include vomiting, abdominal pain, watery diarrhea containing blood, and encephalopathy. Longterm exposure can cause the thickening of skin, darker skin, abdominal pain, heart disease, numbness, diarrhea, and cancer. The most common reason for excessive exposure is by drinking contaminated water.
Test Result Ranges:
Lead: High levels can indicate lead poisoning.
Mercury: High results can mean that you have been exposed to Mercury, but not which form you were exposed to.
High levels can indicate Arsenic poisoning.
If your test results are abnormally high, please see your primary care physician.