These tests look for heavy/toxic metals present in the body. Small amounts of exposure to toxic metals may not be harmful, however repeated exposure over long periods of time and in high amounts may result in poisoning. Exposure to heavy metals mostly occurs in industrial, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries: particularly in mining, foundries and smelters. However heavy metals are also present in the environment. These tests are for anyone wanting to know the levels of heavy/toxic metals in the body, as well as for employers required to carry out biological monitoring for workers exposed to heavy metals.
Heavy metal poisoning may be acute or chronic and they can enter the body through ingestion, inhalation or absorption through the skin or mucous membranes. Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning include nausea, vomiting, problems with the nervous system such as numbness and tingling, organ damage, breathing problems, memory loss and can in some cases cause cancer.