Arsenic (Inorganic), Urine

Urinalysis

A healthy result should fall into the range 0 - 19 ug/L.

Arsenic, abbreviated As, is a potentially toxic heavy metal, that when ingested can accumulate in the body. Arsenic may be of an organic or inorganic source. The toxic form of arsenic is the inorganic form.

Organic arsenic is commonly found in foods, and levels will increase dramatically in a urine 24-hour arsenic test after a seafood meal. That’s why it is not a good idea to eat seafood or kelp a whole week before taking this test. The arsenic-containing foods can cause a falsely positive test result in a urine arsenic test.

A urine arsenic test measures arsenic excretion from the body over a 24-hour period, both before and after a “provocation” or “detox” compound is ingested. A provocation compound is one that increases the excretion of a substance. EDTA, DMSA, and DMPS are examples of provocation compounds. 

Taking the urine arsenic test before the provocation compound is ingested reveals arsenic in the urine whether or not there are high levels of arsenic in the body. This level may reflect arsenic levels found in food, air, soil, water, and the environment that have accumulated in the body.

When the provocation compound is ingested, arsenic levels increase in the urine.

Normal Ranges for Arsenic in mcg/specimen:

All ages: 0-35 mcg/specimen

>35 mcg/specimen is considered out of the normal range.

Critical Range: >100 mcg/specimen indicates there has been a significant exposure.

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/outreach/oregon-poison-center/resources/upload/FF-Arsenic-Interpreting-Urine-Arsenic-Levels.pdf

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