Mercury is a heavy metal that can be toxic. There are three different forms of mercury and each type can produce different symptoms if taken internally through eating or breathing its vapors, or if absorbed through the skin. It happens naturally as a liquid at room temperature and as an odorless vapor.
The purpose of a mercury test is to ensure one is safe from mercury poisoning which can be very dangerous if left untreated or overlooked.
The test is done with a blood sample. A needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm or hand.
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem. The results of this test are given in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Having some mercury in your blood does not mean you will develop health problems.
- 5 ng/mL. This may mean you are being exposed to unhealthy levels of mercury at your work or in your diet.
- 30 to 40 ng/mL. This level usually causes some symptoms and some brain or kidney damage.
- Above 100 ng/mL. This is considered mercury poisoning.