Cremated Remains Tests
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Heavy Metals Panel
Cremated Remains Test Questions You May Have
What are cremains / cremated remains?
Cremains are the remains of a body that has been cremated. Technically, the remains are not ashes, they are bone. Once a body is cremated the bones are crushed to a fine, sand like powder. Depending on the equipment used, the remains may be fine like sand, or coarse with visible bone fragments. Remains have also included surgical implants, wires, pins, and dental prosthetics. Metal fragments from clothing worn during cremation may also be found.
How do I order?
Contact Us or call 800-908-9117. We’ll send you an invoice you can pay online. Once we receive payment notification, we’ll send you an email with shipping instructions along with chain of custody and return forms. You will ship the remains directly to the testing lab. Testing takes about 10 business days.
How long does testing take?
Results are normally ready in 10 business days. A report of the findings is emailed or mailed to you.
How much should cremated remains weigh?
Generally, the weight of the remains depends on the height and sex of the person. How much a person weighed when they passed doesn’t have much bearing on the amount of remains you should expect to receive. A person’s height and bone density will determine the weight of the remains. A female’s remains are usually between 3-5 pounds and a male is usually between 5-7 pounds.
Do you need all the remains?
DNA testing requires that bone fragments or teeth be in the remains. It's best to send them all so the best ones can be selected for testing. Everything is returned to you after testing is complete. For the heavy metal tests we only need 15g or about 1 tablespoon. If any of the remains are left after testing they will be returned to you.
How do I ship the remains?
Once we receive payment notification we'll send you shipping information. The USPS is the only carrier who will knowingly carry human remains. Here's a link to their packaging and shipping instructions. You will ship the remains directly to the testing facility.
What can you test for?
We can test cremated remains for heavy metals or to see if any DNA remains. Drugs or prescription medications do not survive the cremation process.
Can you test for poisons?
Only if they are heavy metal based like arsenic, mercury, lead, etc. Prescription medications or drugs do not survive cremation.
Can I use DNA results for ancestry or family history?
No. If DNA is found in the cremains, the information is not the type needed for family history or genetic testing.
Who should test for metals?
Did your loved one work in the manufacturing, airline, plating, or metal or chemical production industry? Were they farmers? Unfortunately, jobs in these industries can expose a person to excessive amounts of toxic heavy metals. Was the deceased in the military, married to military, or a civilian that worked on a military base? If so, they may have been around dangerous levels of metals. Did they have metal implants, like a hip or knee replacement? Studies show that these devices can cause toxic poisoning. Do you have reason to believe that the person was deliberately poisoned? Drugs or medications do not survive the cremation process, but if they were given arsenic, mercury, or another heavy metal based poison, we can test for evidence.
Can you test for a single metal?
Absolutely. Just give us a call to see if it's a substance we can test for. Testing for a single metal is $250.
What are signs of arsenic poisoning?
Arsenic poisoning occurs after the ingestion or inhalation of arsenic. Arsenic is a type of carcinogen that’s gray, silver, or white in color. Arsenic is extremely poisonous to humans. What makes arsenic especially dangerous is that it doesn’t have a taste or odor, so you can be exposed to it without knowing it. While arsenic is naturally occurring, it also comes in inorganic (or “man-made”) formulas. These are used in agriculture, mining, and manufacturing.
Contaminated groundwater is the most common cause of arsenic poisoning. Arsenic is already present in the earth and can seep into groundwater. Also, groundwater can contain runoff from industrial plants. Drinking arsenic-laden water over a long period of time can lead to poisoning. Other possible causes of arsenic poisoning can include breathing air that contains arsenic, breathing contaminated air from plants or mines that use arsenic, living near industrialized areas, being exposed to landfill or waste sites,breathing in smoke or dust from wood or waste that was previously treated with arsenic, and eating arsenic-contaminated food.
Since arsenic is rapidly cleared from the blood, blood arsenic levels may not be very useful in diagnosis. If acute arsenic poisoning is suspected an x- ray may reveal the substance in the abdomen. Arsenic may also be detected in the hair, bones, and nails for months following ingestion. Within twenty four hours of ingestion arsenic moves from the blood directly into the victim’s kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen & the gastrointestinal tract. In 2 to 4 weeks traces can be found in the victim’s skin, nails, and hair. From there, traces of the poison settle in the bones. Within 35 minutes after ingesting arsenic the victim will experience garlic smelling breath, muscle cramping, metallic taste, headaches, vomiting, vertigo, diarrhea and abdominal pain. If the victim doesn’t die within the first few hours from shock, the poisoned victim will most likely die several days later from kidney failure. If the victim survives 2 to 4 weeks they will experience horrible suffering and will start losing their hair. When death finally comes it will most likely be diagnosed as renal failure.
What are signs of cadmium poisoning?
Cadmium is a highly toxic metal found in industrial workplaces. Due to its low exposure limit, over exposures may occur even in situations where very small quantities of cadmium are found. Cadmium is used extensively in electroplating, although the nature of the operation does not always lead to overexposure. Cadmium is also found in industrial paints and can present a hazard when sprayed. Operations involving removal of cadmium paints by blasting or scraping can pose a significant hazard. Cadmium is also present in the production of batteries. Exposure to cadmium can be found in the following industries: construction industry, shipyard employment, and the agricultural industry. Acute inhalation exposure (high levels over a short period of time) to cadmium can result in flu-like symptoms (chills, fever, and muscle pain) and can damage the lungs. Symptoms of inflammation may start hours after the exposure and include cough, dryness and irritation of the nose and throat, headache, dizziness, weakness, fever, chills, and chest pain. Inhaling cadmium-laden dust quickly leads to respiratory tract and kidney problems which can be fatal (often from renal failure). Chronic exposure (low level over an extended period of time) can result in kidney, bone and lung disease.
What are signs of chromium poisoning?
Chromium compounds are added to steel to increase corrosion resistance, hardenability, and are used in paints and dyes and the tanning of leather. Chromium compounds are often found in groundwater and soil at abandoned industrial complexes that are now in need of environmental cleanup. Chromium has also been used to produce paint primer and is still widely used for automobile refinishing applications. Chromium is known to cause cancer and targets the kidneys, skin, eyes, and especially the respiratory system.
What are signs of lead poisoning?
Lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body, often over a period of months or years. Even modest amounts of lead can cause severe health problems. Children less than the age of 6 are more vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can profoundly affect physical and mental development. At higher levels, lead poisoning often causes death. Lead contaminated dust and lead-based paint in homes or buildings built before 1978 are the most common source of poisoning in children. According to the CDC, 24 million homes in the US still contain lead paint. Lead piping and plumbing are also a significant source of lead contamination. Individuals who work in auto repair shops, do home renovations, make ammunition, or work with batteries may also be exposed to lead. Initially, lead poisoning can be hard to detect — even people who seem healthy can have high blood levels of lead. Signs and symptoms usually don't appear until dangerous amounts have accumulated. Although children are primarily at risk, lead poisoning is also dangerous for adults. Signs and symptoms in adults might include high blood pressure, joint and muscle pain, difficulties with memory or concentration, headache, abdominal pain, mood disorders, reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm, and miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women.
What are signs of mercury poisoning?
Symptoms of mercury poisoning can be numerous and may occur either rapidly or over long periods of time. In general, symptoms occur and progress more rapidly the higher the dose of mercury encountered. Exposure to the various forms of mercury can result in some similar and some different symptoms. Symptoms can be grouped into three categories based on the form of mercury toxicity: 1) elemental and vaporized mercury, 2) organic mercury, and 3) inorganic mercury. Elemental mercury toxicity (which usually occurs in the vaporized form) can cause mood swings, nervousness, irritability, and other emotional changes, headache, muscle twitching and tremors. Organic mercury toxicity (most frequently in the methylmercury form from ingestion), causes neurological malfunctions, and especially in a fetus, impaired neurological development. Other symptoms include vision impairment, loss of coordination, needle-like sensations in hands, feet, and/or mouth, muscle weakness and impairments of speech and hearing. Inorganic mercury toxicity often causes skin rashes and inflammation (dermatitis). If ingested, it can dissolve tissues and some may be absorbed by the intestinal tissue. Large amounts of ingested inorganic mercury may cause bloody diarrhea. Absorbed mercury can spread to other organ systems resulting in mental changes including mood swings and memory loss or renal damage. Muscle weakness may also occur.
What Our Customers Say
No toxins found, let her go. Mom worked in an electroplating processing plant for 25 years, and when mom passed away from emphysema my uncle “the attorney” insisted that she died of cadmium poisoning and not emphysema. So, after much debate, we submitted her ashes for poison and toxin testing and were relieved there was no cadmium present. Finally mom can rest and so can we.
I’m writing this to tell everyone to never accept what you’ve been told. My mom recently passed away and her death was ruled a suicide because her boyfriend said he found an empty bottle of Xanax next to her bed, which he did. However, it wasn’t until we had my mom’s cremated remains tested for poison did we find out that she actually died of arsenic poisoning. Apparently he gave it to her in several mixed drinks while she was drinking heavily. So never trust what someone says about a loved one’s death. If you think something’s wrong, spend the money and find out for sure.
I want to thank you and your lab technicians for retesting my father’s cremated remains for lead. My dad’s company offered and paid for an autopsy and claimed to find nothing. However, your lab was able to find what we suspected all along. Lead poisoning is a horrible way to die and I’m so glad that we had our own testing done so my mother can get the compensation she deserves.
More Information On Cremated Remains Testing
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