Nickel, Urine (Occupational)

Diagnostic Use

Nickel is relatively non toxic essential trace element. It is important in the metabolism of cell membranes and is found in significant concentrations in RNA & DNA. Nickel is poorly absorbed from the diet and is mainly excreted in the faeces, with small amounts being excreted in the sweat and urine. However, when excess nickel is present in the system due to occupational exposure the amount excreted in the urine increases. Urinary concentration is therefore used as an index of exposure. Nickel has a half life of 17-39 hours.
Occupational exposure occurs in nickel plating, with different alloys being used in the manufacture of stainless steel, coins, nickel chrome resistance wire, magnets and silver cutlery. Nickel carbonyl is the gas formed in the nickel refining process when carbon monoxide reacts with nickel. It is the basis for the Mond process, in which objects are coated with nickel of very high purity. Nickel fumes are also given off during gas cutting or stainless steel welding.


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.


Send to separating if ambient. Send to trace metals if frozen.


Aliquot to Core laboratory for UCRN

Turnaround Time

2 weeks

Test Code