Mercury, Urine

CPT: 82570; 83825
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Test Details


  • Hg, Urine

Test Includes

Mercury, urine; creatinine, urine; mercury:creatinine ratio


Monitor exposure to mercury (primarily inorganic mercury). Some organic forms of mercury, including phenylmercury, are metabolized to inorganic mercury; however, methylmercury and ethylmercury are not metabolized to inorganic mercury and the primary route of excretion is in the bile and stool; consequently, these alkylmercury compounds are usually not detected in urine.2


Inductively-coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ICP/MS)

Reference Interval

Environmental exposure: <5.0 μg/g creatinine, <20.0 μg/L

Occupational exposure: BEI® (inorganic mercury, sampling time is preshift): 35 μg/g creatinine1

Additional Information

BEI® are reference values intended as guidelines for evaluation of occupational exposure. BEI® represent biological levels of chemicals that correspond to workers with inhalation exposure equivalent to the threshold limit value (TLV®) of the chemicals. TLVs refer to the airborne concentrations of substances and represent conditions under which it is believed that nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed, day after day, without adverse health effects.1

Specimen Requirements


Urine (random or 24-hour)


5 mL

Minimum Volume

2.5 mL


Plastic urine container, no preservative


Sampling time is preshift (meaning 16 hours without exposure).

Optional protocol: Instruct the patient to void at 8 AM and discard the specimen. Then collect all urine including the final specimen voided at the end of the 24-hour collection period (ie, 8 AM the next morning). Screw the lid on securely. Mix well.

Storage Instructions

Maintain specimen at room temperature.

Stability Requirements



Room temperature

14 days


14 days


14 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3

Clinical Information

Special Instructions

Sampling time is preshift for industrial monitoring. Request form must state 24-hour collection volume, if applicable. Do not use preservative. Preservatives used for routine analysis may contain mercuric oxide (ie, Stabilur), which interferes with all metal testing. If both urinalysis and metal testing are ordered, please submit a separate urine specimen (containing no additive) for the metal testing.


1. TLVs and BEIs, Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices 2010, American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
2. Baselt RC, Cravey RH, Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man, 4th ed, Chemical Toxicology Institute, 1995.


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
007773 Mercury, Urine 019307 Mercury, Urine ug/L 21383-5
007773 Mercury, Urine 019310 Mercury/Creat. Ratio ug/g creat 13465-0
007773 Mercury, Urine 019356 Mercury,Urine 24 Hr ug/24 hr 6693-6
007773 Mercury, Urine 723280 Creatinine(Crt),U g/L 2161-8

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