How to test for mercury toxicity

Written by jay jay waltz
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How to test for mercury toxicity
A hair mineral analysis test is an effective way of testing for mercury toxicity. (ados/iStock/Getty Images)

Mercury poisoning occurs when the body accumulates an excessive amount of this heavy metal, whether its through eating animals, drinking water that contains mercury or using certain products, such as ointments, pesticides, antiseptics, disinfectants and diuretics. This heavy metal has no known biological role within the body, and a build-up of this element within the tissues can cause serious health problems such as memory loss, irritability, abnormal reflex, immune system dysfunction and renal damage. Test for mercury toxicity within your body to prevent future health implications.

Things you need

  • Hair mineral analysis test
  • Hemostat
  • Scissors
  • Dental floss

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  1. 1

    Ask your GP about procuring a hair mineral analysis sample test. Most mercury toxicity tests require the signature of a medical professional.

  2. 2

    Order a hair mineral analysis diagnostic test from a clinical lab once you have the prescription. The hair test shows the levels of mercury that are excreted out of your hair follicles as well as other heavy metals such as cadmium and lead. Hair accumulates heavy metals in concentrations around 1,000 times greater than other tissues.

  3. 3

    Collect a sample of your hair by removing your hair in the least obvious area -- in the middle of the back of the head. Obtain enough hair samples to have approximately 50 hairs or a lock of 3.25 mm (1/8 inch) in diameter.

  4. 4

    Grasp your hair loosely and pull it to the side of your head. Find the sample location and grab the amount of hair you need for a sample. Use the hemostat to clamp the hair sample down. Make sure you leave enough space between the hemostat and scalp. Place the scissors between the hemostat and scalp and cut your sample off.

  5. 5

    Tie the hair sample tightly with dental floss as you leave the hemostat in place holding the hair lock. Remove the hemostat when you have tied the sample with floss. Place the hair sample in the test kit or bag provided by the clinical lab and fill out all pertinent information required by the lab. Send the sample as requested to the lab.

Tips and warnings

  • Mercury can leach from old dental fillings into the body.

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