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Test Code PBNA Lead, Nails

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Medical Laboratories in Rochester

Reporting Name

Lead, Nails

Specimen Type


Specimen Required

Supplies: Hair and Nails Collection Kit (T565)

Specimen Volume: 0.2 g

Collection Instructions:

1. Prepare and transport specimen per the instructions in the kit or see Collecting Hair and Nails for Metals Testing in Special Instructions.

2. Clippings should be taken from all 10 fingernails or toenails.

Additional Information: If known, indicate source of nails (fingernails or toenails).

Reject Due To









Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time
Nail Ambient (preferred)

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.05 g

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Tuesday; 3 p.m.

Specimen Retention Time

14 days

Analytic Time

2 days

Reference Values

0.0-3.9 mcg/g of nails

Reference values apply to all ages.

Useful For

Detecting lead exposure in nail specimens

Method Name

Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)

Test Classification

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
PBNA Lead, Nails 8202-4


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
2506 Lead, Nails 8202-4
PBNSC Specimen Source 31208-2

Clinical Information

Nail analysis of lead can be used to corroborate blood analysis.


Normally, the nail lead content is below 4.0 mcg/g. Nail lead content above 10.0 mcg/g indicates significant lead exposure.


Blood lead analysis has the strongest correlation with toxicity.

Clinical Reference

1. Strumylaite L, Ryselis S, Kregzdyte R: Content of lead in human hair from people exposed to lead. Int J Hyg Environ Health 2004;207:345-351

2. Barbosa F, Tanus-Santos J, Gerlach R, Parsons P: A critical review of biomarkers used for monitoring human exposure to lead: advantages, limitations, and future needs. Environ Health Perspect 2005;113:1669–1674

3. Sanna E, Liguori A, Palmes L, et al: Blood and hair lead levels in boys and girls living in two Sardinian towns at different risks of lead pollution. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2003;500:293-299

Method Description

Arsenic, mercury, and lead in nails are analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in kinetic energy discrimination (KED) mode using gallium, iridium, and lutetium as internal standards, and a salt matrix calibration.(Unpublished Mayo method)