Complete Heavy Metals Test (Blood)

A heavy metal blood test is a group of tests that measure the levels of potentially harmful metals in the blood.

The most common metals tested for are lead, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium. 

Metals that are less commonly tested for include copper, zinc, aluminum, and thallium. Heavy metals are found naturally in the environment, certain foods, medicines, and even in water.

Heavy metals can get in your system in different ways. You might breathe them in, eat them, or absorb them through your skin. If too much metal gets into your body, it can cause heavy metal poisoning. Heavy metal poisoning can lead to serious health problems. These include organ damage, behavioral changes, and difficulties with thinking and memory. The specific symptoms and how it will affect you, depend on the type of metal and how much of it is in your system.

Aluminium

Optimal range: 0 - 5 ug/L

The major tissue sites of aluminum toxicity are the nervous system, immune system, bone, liver, and red blood cells. Aluminum may also interfere with heme (porphyrin) synthesis.

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Antimony

Optimal range: 0 - 10 ug/L

Possible sources of antimony: 
- Food and smoking are the usual sources of antimony. Thus cigarette smoke can externally contaminate hair, as well as contribute to uptake via inhalation. 
- Gunpowder (ammunition) often contains antimony. Firearm enthusiasts often have elevated levels of antimony in hair. 

Other possible sources are: 
- textile industry, 
- metal alloys, 
- and some anti-helminthic and anti-protozoal drugs. 
- Antimony is also used in the manufacture of paints, glass, ceramics, solder, batteries, bearing metals and semiconductors.

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Arsenic

Optimal range: 0 - 23 ug/L

Barium

Optimal range: 0 - 1 ug/L

Barium is a silvery-white metal found in nature. Barium compounds are used to make paint, bricks, tiles, glass, and rubber; used by the oil and gas industries in drilling muds; and sometimes used by doctors to perform medical tests.

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Beryllium

Optimal range: 0 - 0.42 ug/L

Cadmium

Optimal range: 0 - 4 ug/L

Chromium

Optimal range: 0 - 20 ug/L

Cobalt

Optimal range: 0 - 0.4 ug/L

Copper

Optimal range: 0 - 1400 ug/L

Lead

Optimal range: 0 - 250 ug/L

Lithium

Optimal range: 0 - 0.83 ug/L

Lithium is a mood stabilizer that can be helpful with bipolar disorder and other conditions but is well known for causing side effects and toxicity. That said, properly monitored, lithium can be safe as well as effective in controlling moods.

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Manganese

Optimal range: 0 - 1 ug/L

Manganese is a mineral that plays a key role in forming connective tissue, sex hormones, making blood clotting factors, bone health, wound healing and central nervous system function. Manganese is also essential for the absorption of calcium, as well as glucose regulation, carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol and amino acid metabolism. 

Chronic exposure to manganese (as in industrial settings) may cause effects on the central nervous system.

Toxic exposure may occur from dry cells, fungicide (maneb), and in the steel or chemical industries. Manganese is present in the coloring agents for glass and soap, in paints, varnish and enamel, and in linoleum.

It is used in the manufacturing of chlorine gas and in lead-free gasoline. Industrial manganese poisoning has been recognized since 1837.

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Mercury

Optimal range: 0 - 35 ug/L

Nickel

Optimal range: 0 - 28 ug/L

Food is the major source of exposure to Ni.

Foods naturally high in Nickel include chocolate, soybeans, nuts, and oatmeal. Individuals may also be exposed to nickel by breathing air, drinking water, or smoking tobacco containing Nickel. Stainless steel and coins contain Nickel. Some jewelry is plated with Nickel or made from Nickel alloys. Patients may be exposed to Nickel in artificial body parts made from Nickel-containing alloys.

The most common harmful health effect of Nickel in humans is an allergic reaction. Approximately 10% to 20% of the population is sensitive to Nickel. The most serious harmful health effects from exposure to Nickel, such as chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function, and cancer of the lung and nasal sinus, have occurred in people who have breathed dust containing certain Nickel compounds while working in Nickel refineries or nickel-processing plants.

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Platinum

Optimal range: 0 - 0.001 ug/L

Selenium

Optimal range: 0 - 200 ug/L

Silver

Optimal range: 0 - 2 ug/L

Thorium

Optimal range: 0 - 0.001 ug/L

Tin

Optimal range: 0 - 2 ug/L

Uranium

Optimal range: 0 - 0.001 ug/L

Zinc

Optimal range: 0 - 8600 ug/L