Biological Monitoring

Biological Monitoring

Biological monitoring involves the collection of bodily fluid, usually blood and or urine, from your employee which is then tested to see if their heavy metal level is above normal range. Depending on the various types of exposure, pre-exposure and post-exposure samples may be needed and the frequency throughout the year can vary.  The lab results for the post-exposure biological sampling is compared to the New Zealand Biological Exposure Indices along with the pre-exposure levels to ascertain whether the results are within acceptable limits. Legally, these tests are required for demonstrating that your hazard and risk management controls are effective, and the PPE’s are also effective.

Once the biological results and analysis has been completed, WOHC will prepare a written report for your company and employee files. This information may also be requested by Worksafe NZ or employee GP. An electronic copy will also be maintained in our database. WOHC has two occupational medicine specialists available for consultation if an employee returns a high level and is feeling unwell.

Below is a list of some of the more common substances we test for along with examples of where exposures to these toxic substances may occur. If you or your employee’s work with any of the below listed substances or processes, then please contact us today to discuss whether biological sampling is something you require.

  • arsenic – urine (timber treatments)
  • antimony – urine
  • aluminium – urine (welders, foundry workers)
  • cholinesterase – blood (organophosphate pesticides)
  • carbon monoxide – blood (diesel exhaust fumes)
  • cyanide – blood or urine (pesticides, timber treatments, fumigants, metal polishes)
  • nickel – urine (stainless steel welders & gas cutters)
  • chromium – urine sample (timber treatments, leather tanning, welders & stainless alloy workers)
  • xylene – urine (paints & resins)
  • lead – blood test (batteries, weighs & measures, arts, brass, paint removal, engine/muffler/radiator repair)
  • barium – urine (drilling mud)
  • cadmium – urine or blood (welding flux, batteries, welding/cutting of anticorrosion coated steel)
  • toluene – urine (paints & resins)
  • vanadium – urine (boiler maintenance, welding of steel alloys, printing)
  • INR – blood (brodifacoum pesticides)
  • cobalt – urine (saw doctor & knife sharpeners)
  • fluoride – urine (aluminium foundry)
  • manganese – blood (mild steel welding, battery production)
  • mercury – urine (dental industry)
  • methanol – urine (methanol production, resins)
  • methyl bromide – blood (fumigants)
  • methyl ethyl ketone MEK – urine (paints & resins)
  • selenium – urine (fertilisers & cattle feed)
  • styrene – urine (resins)
  • thallium – urine (rodenticide)
  • tin – urine (timber treatments)
  • zinc – blood (galvanising, brass & bronze, welding)