Thallium, Urine (Occupational)

Diagnostic Use

Thallium is a soft heavy metal found as a by-product from smelting copper, lead or zinc. Thallium is used in small quantities in the manufacture of optical lenses, imitation jewellery, in dyes and pigments and thallium sulphate is used as a rodenticide.
Thallium is absorbed through inhalation, ingestion and through the skin. In the blood it is mainly bound to the red cells and is excreted by the kidneys.
Thallium compounds are highly toxic cumulative poisons. Large doses cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea followed by hypotension and brachycardia initially then followed by hypertension and tachycardia. Severe cases lead to muscle paralysis and cardio respiratory failure.
Chronic poisoning causes peripheral neuropathy, gastroenteritis and characteristically, loss of hair.
Thallium is initially rapidly excreted in the urine and samples should be collected at the end of the working week.


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 week.


Aliquot to Core laboratory for UCRN

Turnaround Time

10 days

Test Code