Mercury, Lead, Cadmium in Whole Blood

Brief Description

This inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer method uses an internal standard dilution technique for the determination of Mercury (Hg), Lead (Pb), and Cadmium (Cd) in whole blood. The method is used to screen whole blood specimens from patients to evaluate environmental and other non-occupational exposure to these elements.

Laboratory Unit

Chemical Threat



Specimen Collection

Whole blood:

Collect in 5- or 7-mL vacutainers containing EDTA (k2). Two empty containers of the same lot number should be submitted with the specimen.


Consultation is required with GPHL Emergency Response Coordinator Req 24/7 contact number: 866-782-4584.

Whole blood can be maintained at refrigerated temperature (2-8°C) during transit.

Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

Whole blood

Test Request

Possible Results

  • Cadmium (Cd) 1.00 µg/L – 100 µg/L
  • Mercury (Hg) 2.00 µg/L – 200 µg/L
  • Lead (Pb) 2.00 µg/dL– 200 µg/dL
  • Not detected
  • Unsatisfactory

Reference Range

  • Cadmium (Cd) 5 µg/L
  • Mercury (Hg) 10 µg/L
  • Lead (Pb) 10 µg/dL

Unacceptable Conditions

  • Missing testing requisition
  • Missing minimum of 2 patient identifiers
  • Improper labeling
  • Improper storage/transport of specimen
  • No specimen received (empty collection tube).
  • Low Volume (< .25 mL)
  • Wrong specimen type

Interfering Substances


Result Reported

1-3 business days

Turnaround times may be affected by the scale of the event.


No charge

LOINC/Order Codes

55118-4 (Order code: CT021500)