Arsenic, Urine

Diagnostic Use

The main exposure to arsenic in New Zealand occurs in the timber treatment industry. The preservation of timber (tanalising) is carried out using a mixture of salts of copper sulphate, potassium dichromate and arsenic pentoxide. The timber is pressure injected with the preservation liquid in large pressure cylinders, after which it is stacked in the yard while still wet with preservation chemicals. Arsenic may also be encountered in the plating industry and in foundries and glassworks, and is found in some fruit tree sprays. To ensure accurate assessment of exposure to arsenic, urine samples must be collected at the end of the working shift at the end of the working week if the exposure is continuous, as the half-life of arsenic in the urine is approx. 48 hours. The method used does not measure the organic arsenic compounds present in dietary fish, samples can be collected without dietary restrictions.


Lipids/Trace Metals

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Send to separating if ambient on arrival. Send to lipids/trace metals if frozen on arrival.


Make aliquot for UCRN. Send primary sample to lipids/ trace metals.


Inorganic Arsenic

Turnaround Time

7 days

Test Code