|Category||Biochemistry >> Trace elements|
Trace elements can be essential or toxic. Trace element toxicity can occur as a result of occupational exposure, environmental exposure or iatrogenic toxicity. Any organ can be affected: the central nervous system, liver, kidneys, muscles or circulatory system. All elements can be toxic in excess. Those most commonly associated with toxicity include: aluminium, lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and thallium.
Lead is a non-essential element and toxic effects occur through its accumulation in the body, reflecting its extensive use in silver smelting, paint production, jewellery making, building construction, petrol use and its ubiquitous presence in the water supply. Acute poisoning is now uncommon, however, chronic poisoning may often be due to industrial exposure, ingestion of lead-containing paint/contaminated dirt in children, or ingestion of contaminated alternative herbal therapy.
Symptoms include abdominal pain, fatigue, weakness, anaemia, basophilic stippling of erythrocytes and peripheral neuropathy.
|Sample & container required||Whole Blood: EDTA Trace element tube (Royal blue cap), EDTA (lavender top) or heparin (green top). Urine: sterile universal or plain 24 hr collection|
|Sample volume||0.5 mL|
|Transport storage||Stable at 2-8°C. Sample can be sent by first class post.|
|Turnaround time||2 weeks|