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Heavy metals testing is used to screen for or diagnose heavy metal poisoning in those who may have been acutely or chronically exposed to one or more heavy metals, and to monitor excessive metal concentrations in those who work with various heavy metals. Such occupations include construction work, mining, radiator repair shops, and firing ranges. Our laboratory offers several different groupings that are specific for either hair or urine.
A worker’s exposure to hazardous materials on the job can be unknowingly brought back to a person’s home. Heavy metals such as lead dust, concrete crusted clothing, and a variety of oils, greases, and solvents can all unintentionally poison the employee and/or their family. All companies should have safety policies and these should be followed at all times.
Common heavy metals include:
Occupational exposure to lead is one of the most prevalent overexposures. Industries with high potential exposure include construction work, most smelter operations, radiator repair shops, and firing ranges.
Zinc is found in cells throughout the body and is essential to a healthy life. It helps the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses. In fact, zinc deficiency can cause hair loss, diarrhea, eye and skin sores, and loss of appetite. However, excessive amounts of zinc can cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and headaches.
Common sources of mercury exposure include the mining, production, and transportation of mercury, as well as mining and refining of gold and silver ores. High mercury exposure results in permanent nervous system and kidney damage.
Cadmium is an extremely toxic metal commonly found in industrial workplaces, particularly where any ore is being processed or smelted. Several deaths from acute exposure have occurred among welders who have unsuspectingly welded on cadmium-containing alloys or with silver solders.
Chromium is a steely-gray, lustrous, brittle metal. Chromium, although required in small amounts to help regulate sugar and lipid metabolism, can be toxic in greater amounts and is recognized as a human carcinogen.
There are many heavy metals in our environment both naturally and from pollution. Exposure can occur in the home, also — not just in the workplace. Particularly, it can happen in older homes with old paint, as well as homes in industrial and manufacturing areas. Lead, mercury, copper, and zinc are common in these areas. If this is the case, you might want to consider ordering a comprehensive heavy metals test.
People may also be exposed to small amounts of heavy metals through food, water, air, and commercial products.
Heavy metal exposure can affect individuals in different ways. Those who have underlying health conditions may be more vulnerable than others to the same exposures. Employers have the responsibility to protect the safety and health of the worker.
Exposure to heavy metals can be deadly. US Drug Test Centers operates testing centers in all areas of the United States, with more than 20,000 locations. Contact us today for more information on our services.