Why Order Heavy Metal Tests Online?
At Health Testing Centers we make heavy metals and toxin testing easy by allowing you to avoid the hassle of visiting your doctor. We provide heavy metals testing, including Doctor's oversight, using the same labs that your doctor utilizes. Test results are securely delivered to you, saving you time and money.
Fast, accurate, clear lab results without doctor visit
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With heavy metal testing performed by the nations top laboratories, Quest and LabCorp, our panels are designed by our physicians to provide a thorough analysis of your exposure to harmful toxins.
Featured Toxin Tests and Packages
This 24 hour at home urine test kit may be used to screen or detect the presence of 21 different heavy metals in your body.
This 24 hour at home urine test kit may be used to screen or detect the presence of 21 different heavy metals plus an additional 16 nutritional metals in your body.
This is a blood test for lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic which are the most common types of heavy metal exposure.
This is a blood test for lead, mercury, and arsenic which are the most common types of heavy metal exposure.
This is a blood test for lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic which are the most common types of heavy metal exposure.
This is a urine test for lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic, the most common types of heavy metal exposure. AVAILABLE AT LABCORP ONLY
Toxin Tests (A-Z)
This test is used to measure the level of Aluminum in the blood.
This aromatic solvent profile tests for levels of exposure to benzene, ethyl benzene, styrene, toluene, and xylenes. AVAILABLE AT LABCORP ONLY.
This test is used to measure the level of arsenic in the body.
This test measures levels of Cadmium in the blood.
This test measures levels of Cadmium in the urine.
This test measures the level of Carbon Monoxide in the blood.
Erythrocyte cholinesterase is used to measure possible organophosphate and carbamate toxicity and to detect atypical forms of the enzyme. Currently available at Quest Diagnostics only. Please click on details to order.
This chromium blood test is the prevailing test to measure dietary ingestion of trivalent chromium.
This test measures the level of Hexavalent chromium in the body by collecting a urine sample.
This test measures the level of cobalt in the body.
This test measures the amount of copper in your blood.
This test may aid in the detection of Fluoride in the body.
This test measures the level of Fluoride in the body through a urine sample.
This test is used to measure the level of Lead in the body.
This test is used to measure and evaluate the level of manganese in the blood.
Blood test to measure the level of mercury in the body.
A urine test to measure the level of mercury in the body.
The at home MycoTox profile test may be used to screen for 11 different mycotoxins, from 40 species of mold, in one urine sample.
This blood test measures the level of Nickel in the body.
This test is for measuring the level of selenium in the blood.
This blood test measures the amount of titanium in the blood.
The Zinc blood test measures the level of zinc in your body.
This test is used to help monitor and detect exposure to lead in an industrial setting.
Heavy Metal and Toxin Exposure FAQ
Reviewed By: Dr. Kurt Kloss, MD
Last Reviewed Date: Dec 13, 2021
Last Modified Date: Dec 13, 2021
Published Date: Dec 10, 2018
How do I know if I have been exposed to toxins that are affecting my health?
In today's very industrialized world, we are exposed to numerous toxins on a daily basis. They invade our bodies via the air we breathe, the foods we eat and the water we drink, among many other sources. Our bodies work to expel these toxins using natural detoxification processes. However, when toxin exposure is high, it can overwhelm the body's ability to eliminate these substances, allowing them to build up to levels capable of affecting health and well-being.
High levels of body toxins can be caused by a single, concentrated exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals (PDF) or harmful chemicals. Those who are affected by this sort of acute exposure to harmful substances generally know they have been exposed and will typically experience clear and immediate symptoms, such as breathing difficulty, headache, nausea or confusion, among others.
However, high toxin levels are also often caused by chronic daily exposure to low levels of toxins, allowing them to slowly accumulate in the system. Symptoms of this sort of toxicity are not as clear-cut, and may include issues like fatigue, muscle aches, forgetfulness, impaired immune function and digestive problems, among many other rather non-specific symptoms.
So how can you tell if your symptoms are due to toxin buildup in your body, or just a garden-variety cold or flu? Diagnosing high toxin levels begins with evaluating the type of symptoms you have, their severity and duration, and your potential for exposure to harmful substances in your everyday environment. If your doctor suspects that toxins may be at the root of those symptoms, finding out for sure will require a few lab tests.
Among the more common tests used to detect toxic substances in the body are heavy metals profiles, which are blood tests that look for toxic metals that include lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Nickel exposure can be detected via blood testing as well, as can toxic chemicals that are abundant in the environment, such as benzene, ethyl benzene, styrene, toluene, xylenes and carbon monoxide. Blood testing can also measure the levels of metals and minerals that the body needs in trace amounts, yet are toxic at high levels, such as manganese, zinc, selenium, iron and cobalt.
What are heavy metals and how are we exposed to them?
A variety of heavy metals are present in the environment. Some occur naturally, while others may be present due to pollution. Some, in small amounts, play important roles in the body, while others have no known beneficial purpose in terms of health. High levels of heavy metals in the body, both those that are nutritionally necessary and those that are not, is called heavy metal toxicity and can cause a long list of symptoms and health problems.
The heavy metals that the body requires are the same ones that we come into contact with most often, such as zinc, copper, chromium, manganese and iron. While these essential elements enhance health in trace amounts, they can become heavy metal poisoning at high levels. These metals are typically obtained from foods, though it is extremely rare for metals ingested in food to lead to negative health effects. Exposure to toxic levels of these metals typically occurs via overuse of dietary supplements, industrial/workplace exposure or medical issues that impair metabolism, such as liver or kidney disease.
Other heavy metals commonly encountered in the environment are metals that serve no purpose in the body, but may still collect in its tissues, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic and aluminum. Common exposure sources include:
Mercury – Exposure occurs via inhalation, skin absorption or ingestion. Common sources are air pollution, mercury amalgam dental fillings, mercury-based vaccine preservatives, cosmetics, and dietary exposure, most commonly via contaminated seafood. Fluorescent light bulbs and older, glass thermometers contain mercury, and if broken, can be a source of exposure. Methylmercury is a particularly poisonous form of mercury that forms when the mercury in water, soil, or plants comes into contact with a specific bacteria.
Lead – Common sources of toxic lead exposure include lead-based paints, which are most common to find in older homes in the United States and can be ingested as flakes or inhaled as dust, contaminated water and/or water pipes, air pollution, and workplace exposure. Some cosmetics contain lead, particularly lipsticks, improperly glazed ceramic dishes may leach lead, and it has been found in some toys, particularly imported plastic ones.
Cadmium – Air pollution is the primary source of this metal, which settles to earth from the air to contaminate water and soil. It is in most foods, with heaviest contamination found in shellfish, liver and kidney meats, and is inhaled from contaminated air and tobacco smoke.
Arsenic – Exposure can come from pesticides, treated wood, water, air pollution and workplace exposure. Some paints contain arsenic, as do certain fungicides and rat poisons. Fish and shellfish may contain arsenic from polluted waters, and many chicken producers use arsenic-based additives in chicken feed.
Aluminum – Common sources of exposure include drinking water, antiperspirants, air pollution, aluminum cookware, aluminum foil, baking powders, processed cheeses, table salt and over-the-counter drugs, including many antacids, anti-diarrheal drugs and pain relievers.
While there is no way to avoid exposure to heavy metals altogether, there are steps you can take to reduce your likelihood of exposure. For instance, you can reduce your change of mercury exposure by limiting consumption of fish and seafood to no more than once or twice a week. Similarly, you can reduce your exposure to lead by looking into lead content of dishware, cookware, cosmetics, and toys. Choosing organic foods can limit exposure through pesticides and arsenic-laced poultry. Other initial approaches you should consider to limit exposure to heavy metals are using stainless steel or enamel cookware, avoiding use of aluminum foil, eating fewer processed foods, avoiding medications that contain aluminum, and installing a water purification system. Your healthcare provider can provide you with more information on how to limit your exposure to heavy metals.
What are the symptoms of heavy metal toxicity?
There are two forms of heavy metal toxicity, acute toxicity that occurs when one is exposed to a large amount of metal at one time, and chronic toxicity, which occurs with long-term exposure to low levels of heavy metals.
Symptoms of acute heavy metal toxicity generally appear quite quickly after recent exposure and may include:
- Numbness or tingling in arms, hands, legs and or feet
- Excessive sweating
- Labored breathing
- Impaired motor or language skills
- Irregular heart beat
Chronic metal toxicity symptoms develop gradually and are more difficult to recognize. Among the most common are:
- Chronic muscle pain
- Chronic malaise, fatigue
- Forgetfulness or brain fog
- Headaches, migraines, visual disturbances
- Impaired immune function
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion
- Mood swings, depression, anxiety
- Burning, numbness, tingling in extremities
Be sure to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional if you experience these symptoms.
What is the treatment for heavy metal exposure?
Heavy metal toxicity is diagnosed by means of an evaluation of symptoms and testing for heavy metal levels. A heavy metals test may look for specific metals in urine, blood, or plasma to evaluate levels within the body. Your blood sample can be used to check mercury levels or diagnose lead poisoning, for example. Depending upon the particular metal involved, blood tests may also be done to evaluate the function of organs like the liver and kidneys, or to look for anemia related to heavy metal toxicity.
If your healthcare provider diagnoses you with a form of heavy metal toxicity, treatment in chronic toxicity begins with determining likely sources of chronic exposure and eliminating them. For mild to moderate cases, avoiding further exposure to the toxic elements may be enough to allow the body to eliminate toxins, or nutritional therapy may be used to aid the elimination process. Chelation therapy may be used in acute toxicity and more severe chronic toxicity cases, which uses specific agents to flush metals from the body.
Where can I get heavy metal testing near me?
Search for convenient heavy metal and toxin testing lab locations near you using our Lab Locator.