Mercury & Heavy Metal Toxocity Testing

Long Island Center for Healtheir Dentistry is proud to offer what we feel is the best method of mercury testing: the Quicksilver Scientific Mercury Tri-Test. In addition to differentiation wether your mercury levels are from fish (organic mercury) or environmental exposure such as dental mercury amalgam fillings and in rare cases form job exposure like a dentist or a coal factory worker Inorganic mercury we test how your natural bodies detox systems (kidney and Liver) are functioning.

By understanding mercury exposure sources and your bodies capability to detox mercury a sound strategy for mercury detox can be formulated.

To just randomly detox without measuring is just guessing and possibly a waste of time if you are not mercury toxic.  Remember you cannot manage what you cannot measure.  A sound strategy is to test, if mercury levels are high address exposure sources, optimize liver and/or kidney function if necessary, detox, then re-test. only in this way can you be sure that what you are doing is right.

Technology: Quicksilver vs. Other Methods


Quicksilver Scientific is an innovator among analytical testing labs.  Competitive environmental testing labs rely on EPA methods 1631 and 245.7 for total mercury analysis and EPA draft method 1630 for methyl-mercury analysis.  However, these methods are labor-intensive and have opportunities for interference.  EPA 1630 is exceptionally difficult, which helps to explain why the EPA has not adopted this draft as a full method.

Here are some of the key differences between the Quicksilver mercury speciation method and the EPA methods:

  • Highly Accurate vs. Questionably Accurate
  • EPA methods are complicated and labor-intensive procedures.  This complexity increases the chance for error.  Because of this situation, the quality control acceptance criteria for EPA methods fall within a very wide tolerance range.
  • The Quicksilver mercury speciation method allows for tight quality control parameters.  Compare the EPA quality control acceptance criteria to Quicksilver.
  • Affordable with More Data vs. Expensive with Less Data
  • EPA method 1631 cannot produce discrete data for different forms of mercury.  To get methyl-mercury analysis data, 1631 must be combined with EPA draft method 1630. However, these two independent methods are labor-intensive, slow and expensive.
  • The Quicksilver method analyzes methyl-mercury, inorganic mercury and total mercury in one simultaneous procedure. See how Quicksilver speciation analysis provides total mercury data.
  • The Quicksilver mercury speciation method is also automated and scalable to accommodate very large sample batch throughput.  On a per sample basis, Quicksilver speciation analysis is a much more affordable mercury determination option than competitive methods.

Small Sample Mass Size vs. Large Sample Mass Size

Because of inefficiency in sample preparation, EPA draft method 1630 requires large sample mass size.  As a result, EPA 1630 is not suitable for testing small-mass biota or sediment samples.  Quicksilver Scientific requires only a 5 mg sample of biota to produce highly accurate mercury speciation results (methyl-mercury + inorganic mercury = total mercury).  Testing smaller sample sizes results in substantial cost savings for Quicksilver customers by reducing the amount of sample procurement field work.   This field work is typically a much more expensive component of a project than the analytical testing.

Single Analytical Procedure vs. Several Analytical Procedures

Current EPA methods do not offer one process for inorganic mercury (HgII) and methyl-mercury (MeHg) analysis.  EPA methods 1631 and 245.7 only analyze total mercury (HgT).  EPA draft method 1630 only analyzes methyl-mercury.

The Quicksilver method determines methyl-mercury, inorganic mercury and total mercury with one simple measurement process.  This makes the Quicksilver mercury speciation method the most efficient and cost-effective.  Because of this technology breakthrough, Quicksilver can offer mercury speciation at prices that are competitive with conventional total mercury analysis.

Strong Extraction Chemistries vs. Weak Extraction Chemistries

In general, EPA draft method 1630 is problematic for samples with low level mercury concentrations because it has many interferences and sensitivities built into the extraction process.  In EPA 1630, mercury analysis depends on an ethylation procedure which causes mercury to volatilize from the sample.  However, the substances used to ethylate mercury in the sample cannot outcompete strong natural ligands such as thiol and chloride bonds.  As a result, EPA 1630 is not suited for samples containing high chloride and thiol group levels.

The Quicksilver mercury speciation process employs acidic thiourea-based extraction chemistries.

In this process, acidic thiourea outcompetes every other natural ligand and produces a stable and highly water-soluble complex.

In order to extract mercury from biota (insects, macro-invertebrates, etc.), EPA methods dissolve all fats and proteins present in the organism.  These fats and proteins interfere with subsequent analytical process steps.  In the Quicksilver method, acidic thiourea leaches mercury from the organism without solubilizing the fats and proteins.  The biotic residues are filtered away, producing a clean extract that will provide more accurate results.  If necessary, the whole extract can be run in one analysis.  This provides the best detection limits with the lowest sample mass amount.

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