Molybdenum, Urine (Occupational)

Diagnostic Use

Molybdenum is an essential trace element used as a co factor for enzymes such as xanthine oxidase, which is involved in the degradation of purines to uric acid. The human requirement for molybdenum is extremely low and deficiency is rare.
In ruminant animals high molybdenum from grazing interferes with copper absorption, causing anaemia, stunted growth and bone deformities, sheep also show degeneration of the central nervous system.
Occupationally molybdenum is used in alloys as a hardener for steels and superalloys, used in turbine wheels and jet engines; they can contain as much as 30% molybdenum. It is also used in the production of some ceramics including joint prostheses, pigments and electrical wire. Its compounds are also used as catalysts and in lubricants. Small amounts are sometimes added to fertilizer as in some plants it is necessary for nitrogen fixation.
Molybdenum is absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and is rapidly excreted in the urine.
Reports of toxicity are rare.
Exposure to molybdenum trioxide during production of compounds at high temperatures has been reported as causing irritation to the mucous membranes, headaches and aching joints. After high exposure uric acid and ceruloplasmin were slightly increased.
In Armenia where soil concentration is high an increase in gout-like symptoms have been reported.


Lipids/Trace Metals

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Recommended sampling time is POST SHIFT - the last 2 hours to immediately following the end of the working day.


Aliquot to Core laboratory for UCRN

Turnaround Time

3 weeks

Test Code