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Test Code HMHA Heavy Metals, Hair

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester

Useful For

Detection of nonacute arsenic, mercury, and lead exposure in hair specimens

Method Name

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Reporting Name

Heavy Metals, Hair

Specimen Type

Hair


Specimen Required


Supplies: Hair and Nails Collection Kit (T565)

Specimen Volume: 0.2 g

Collection Instructions: Prepare and transport specimen per the instructions in kit or see Collecting Hair and Nails for Metals Testing in Special Instructions.

Additional Information: If known, indicate source of hair (axillary, head, or pubic).


Specimen Minimum Volume

0.05 g

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time
Hair Ambient (preferred)
  Frozen 
  Refrigerated 

Reject Due To

Hemolysis

NA

Lipemia

NA

Icterus

NA

Other

NA

Reference Values

ARSENIC

0-15 years: not established

≥16 years: 0.0-0.9 mcg/g of hair

 

LEAD

0.0-3.9 mcg/g of hair

Reference values apply to all ages.

 

MERCURY

0-15 years: not established

≥16 years: 0.0-0.9 mcg/g of hair

Interpretation

Hair grows at a rate of approximately 0.5 inch/month. Hair keratin synthesized today will protrude through the skin in approximately 1 week. Thus, a hair specimen collected at the skin level represents exposure of 1 week ago, 1 inch distally from the skin represents exposure 2 months ago, etc.

 

ARSENIC

Hair arsenic levels above 1.00 mcg/g dry weight indicate excessive exposure. It is normal for some arsenic to be present in hair, as everybody is exposed to trace amounts of arsenic from the normal diet.

 

The highest hair arsenic observed at Mayo Clinic was 210 mcg/g dry weight in a case of chronic exposure that was the cause of death.

 

MERCURY

Normally, hair contains less than 1 mcg/g of mercury; any amount more than this indicates that exposure to more than normal amounts of mercury has occurred

 

LEAD

Normal hair lead content is below 5.0 mcg/g. Hair lead content above 10.0 mcg/g indicates significant lead exposure.

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Tuesday; 3 p.m.

Analytic Time

2 days

Specimen Retention Time

14 days

Test Classification

See Individual Test IDs

CPT Code Information

82175-Arsenic

83655-Lead

83825-Mercury

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
HMHA Heavy Metals, Hair 34667-6

 

Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
31896 Arsenic, Hair 5584-8
31900 Mercury, Hair 5686-1
31898 Lead, Hair 5673-9
PBHSC Specimen Source 31208-2
HGHSC Specimen Source 31208-2
ASHSC Specimen Source 31208-2

Profile Information

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
ASHA Arsenic, Hair Yes Yes
PBHA Lead, Hair Yes Yes
HGHAR Mercury, Hair Yes Yes