Genova Diagnostics

Mercury (Genova)

A healthy result should fall into the range 0 - 9.8 ppb.

Mercury is an element that is found all over the earth, in soil, rocks, and water. The issue with mercury is that if humans are exposed to it, depending on the amount, route, and duration of exposure, mercury can be toxic to humans.

Mercury intoxication is associated with symptoms such as:

(1) mental changes,

(2) spontaneous tremor and deficits in psychomotor performance, and

(3) stomatitis and gingivitis.

The toxic effects of mercury have been associated with neurological dysfunction, dementia, and autoimmune diseases.

The toxic effects of mercury have been associated with neurological dysfunction, dementia, and autoimmune diseases. Although research suggests that the etiology of autism is multifactorial, numerous reports demonstrate that aspects of mercury toxicity appear similar to autism symptomatology. According to the CDC, mercury released from amalgams may comprise up to 75% of an individual’s mercury exposure. Methyl-mercury from seafood is considered to be the most important source of non-occupational human mercury exposure.

Blood mercury has revealed low level chronic and acute exposure from work environments. Significant exposure is evident when whole blood alkyl mercury is greater than 50 μg/L, or when inorganic mercury (Hg2+) exposure is greater than 200 μg/L. Children’s reference values for whole blood mercury from 1.5 to 1.0 μg/L have been proposed. Risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) was found to be nearly 10 times higher when blood mercury was above 29 nmol/L. The quantity of mercury assayed in blood and hair, but not urine, correlates with the severity of toxicity symptoms.

Hair has been a frequently used specimen by CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for accurately assessing mercury exposure in selected populations. Levels of mercury greater than 1 μg/g also indicate mercury toxicity. A positive correlation of blood pressure with levels of hair mercury has been seen.

The level of mercury in urine is a reliable way to assess exposure to inorganic mercury. Daily urinary levels greater than 50 μg indicate a Hg2+ overload.

Sulfur-containing agents, such as N-acetyl cysteine and dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), can be effective agents for removing mercury from tissues. Research has shown that N-acetyl cysteine and glutathione can protect cells from mercury toxicity. Some antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione may also possess chelative effects.

Dietary selenium has been found to reduce the toxic effects of mercury. Potential sources of mercury include dental amalgams, broken thermometers, cosmetics, and predator or fresh water fish.

Associated Symptoms and Diseases:

– Mental symptoms: erethism (=a neurological disorder), insomnia, fatigue, poor short- term memory

– Tremor

– Stomatitis (=inflammation of the mouth and lips)

– Gingivitis (=red and puffy gums)

– GI and renal disturbances

– Decreased immunity


– Dental amalgams,

– Predator fish, certain lake fish

– preservatives (esp. thimerosal)

– industrial release effects

– Broken thermometers and barometers

– Grain seeds treated with methylmercury fungicide

– Mercuric chloride Thimerosal (Ethylmercurithiosalicylic acid sodium salt)

– Calomel (body powder, talc, laxatives)

– Cosmetics (check labels if possible)

– Latex and solvent-thinned paints

– Hemorrhoid suppositories

– Mercurochrome, merthiolate

– Fabric softeners

– Floor waxes and polishes

– Air conditioner filters

– Wood preservatives

– Certain batteries

– Fungicides for lawns and shrubs

– Leather tanning products

– Thimerosal-preserved immunization fluids

– Adhesives

– Skin-lightening creams

– Certain ointments to treat psoriasis

– Photoengraving

– Tattooing

– Sewage sludge used as fertilizer

Protective Measures:

Selenium (protects against cellular toxicity)

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