[ RadSafe ] Re: radsafe Digest, Vol 192, Issue 1

Tony Harrison laharris at smtpgate.dphe.state.co.us
Tue Apr 7 09:55:26 CDT 2009

There is very little in the literature about uranium in hair, and no meaningful studies on populations.  We've had many customers call us reporting "high" results: sometimes there is measurable uranium in their water, sometimes there isn't.

In relation to another project we recently had to shop for hair Standard Reference Materials with certified metals values.  They exist, but we couldn't find any that certify the uranium concentration.  We measure it anyway, and get consistent results, but it's not clear how it relates to "normal".

The most academic information I'm aware of comes from the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) and can be found here:


It's from 2001 and documents how ignorant we are about all aspects of testing hair for metals, including uranium.  I'm not aware that any of the gaps have been filled since then, but would appreciate any more recent references.

Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009 08:52:02 -0700
From: "Brennan, Mike  (DOH)" <Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV>
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Uranium in the hair of autistic children
To: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
	<37C41083D3480E4BBB478317773B845D0148EEBF at dohmxtum31.doh.wa.lcl>
Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="us-ascii"

I saw an article about this, and it also contained no way of telling
what "high" means.  I've seen this in the past, with people sending hair
off to a "laboratory" and being told that the uranium levels were
"high".  Although I tried (though not very hard, I admit), I was not
able to find evidence that (a) the lab is accredited by any
organization, (b) that there is an established meaning for "high"
uranium levels in hair, or (c) a connection between uranium levels in
hair and some health effect.  

It is, I believe, quite useful when someone says something like the
uranium comes from a reactor 150 km away (or right next door, for that
matter).  It demonstrates conclusively that that person doesn't know
what they are talking about, and their opinions should be doubted on any
subject less verifiable than in which direction the sun will rise.  

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of parthasarathy k s
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 4:29 AM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl 
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Uranium in the hair of autistic children URGENT

Dear friends,

the reported  presence of "high" levels of uranium in the hair of
children suffering from autism has attracted wide media attention in
India. In spite of all efforts, I could not get the actual data so far.
The person who suggested that autistic children in Faridkot, Punjab are
having high concentrations of uranium in their hair also stated that the
source of uranium is likely to be the either  pressurized heavy water
reactors at Rajasthan 150 km from Faridkot or the reactors in Pakistan.
I have serious doublts about the credibility of such persons

any one in the list has any references to enhanced uranium levels in the
hair of autistic children, I shall be grateful to receive them 


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Tony Harrison, MSPH
Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment
Laboratory Services Division
tony.harrison at state.co.us

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