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Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found in air, water, and soil. Pure mercury is a liquid metal that has traditionally been used to make products like thermometers. Mercury exposure at high levels can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system. The three telltale signs of mercury poisoning are impaired speech, lack of coordination of movements and impairment of peripheral vision.
Coal-burning power plants are the largest human-caused source of mercury emissions in the United States. Mercury is found in coal, and when burned, is released into the environment. This mercury eventually settles into water or onto land where it can be washed into water. Fish and shellfish are the main sources of methylmercury exposure to humans. The levels of this type of mercury in fish and shellfish depend on what they eat, how long they live, and how high they are in the food chain.
Fasting is not required for this test. Take all medications as prescribed. Avoid seafood for 72 hours prior to the blood draw.
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