What is the correlation between urinary mercury levels and the onset of symptoms in mercury toxicity?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: David A Olson, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Answer

No absolute correlation exists between urinary mercury levels and the onset of symptoms; however, levels higher than 300 mcg/L are associated with overt symptoms. Mercury levels in the urine also can be used to gauge the efficacy of chelation therapy, since chelated mercury is excreted primarily through the kidneys. For workers chronically exposed to mercury compounds, urinary excretion with mercury levels higher than 50 mcg/L is associated with an increased frequency of tremor.


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