Blood is the best matrix for assessing exposure to organic mercury (methyl mercury found in fish). Urine is the best matrix for assessing exposure to metallic and inorganic mercury. If in doubt, send both sample types. The commonest source of mercury is contaminated fish (tuna, swordfish, shark). Some skin lightening creams and traditional medicines and cosmetics are also known to contain mercury. Blood and urine testing is not useful for assessing exposure to mercury from dental amalgam in fillings.
|Weekdays only. Urgent analysis is possible please contact Laboratory or Duty Biochemist.
|Cases of suspected mercury poisoning should be discussed with the National Poisons Information Service (www.toxbase.org).
|First Class Post to: Specialist Laboratory Medicine,
St James's University Hospital,
|Store at 4C prior to sending.