Preferred Sample Type

Arsenic (blood)

Suitable Specimen Types

  • EDTA Whole Blood
  • Blood in Dark Blue Top Tube
Minimum 100 ul whole blood.

Specimen Transport


Sample Processing in Laboratory

Place in Trace Element rack in Send Away Fridge.

Sample Preparation

Do not spin down

Turnaround Time

1 week

Sample Stability

Do not centrifuge or separate - Whole blood required

Arsenic (blood)

General Information

Indications: ? toxicity, occupational exposure


  • For acute poisoning both blood and urine should be sent.
  • For suspected chronic exposure and for occupational monitoring, urine is the specimen of choice in the first instance.
  • It is important to know, if available, the nature and duration of exposure as a sea food diet can produce considerable quantities of detectable As and all forms of the element are excreted rapidly (48 hours).
  • Analysis is made for total non-dietary arsenic.


Patient Preparation

For occupational monitoring collect specimen at end of working week.

Reference Range

Normal values: < 95 nmol/L

Source, Trace Element Laboratories Update 2018


  • EQA Scheme?: Yes
  • EQA Status:

    TEQAS scheme

The laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital form part of the services provided by University Hospitals Birmingham and are UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited to the ISO 15189:2012 standard. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the UKAS website using the following link:

  • Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital pathology laboratories are a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8217
  • United Kingdom Health Security Agency laboratory is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8213

Tests not appearing on the UKAS Schedule of Accreditation currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further test information, please visit the test database:

Protection of personal information - Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and its employees to comply with the Data Protection act  1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235