No subject

Sat May 17 04:27:29 CDT 2014

Analysis of uranium in hair is not an accepted nor reliable method of deter=
mining the uranium content in the body. Uranium is a heavy metal and is exc=
reted in the hair and nails, but hair analysis for uranium is subject to in=
ordinately high erroneous results from uranium contamination of the hair fr=
om shampoos, soaps, hair dressings, dyes, and hair treatments of various ty=
pes. Moreover, since uranium is ubiquitous throughout the environment, the =
hair sample must be carefully obtained, handled, packaged, and shipped unde=
r rigid controls to ensure that it is not contaminated by coming into conta=
ct with materials containing environmental uranium which could be transferr=
ed to the hair sample. Erroneously high results can also occur if analytica=
l procedures are not rigidly controlled and performed with scrupulous care.=
 Controls include appropriate washing of the sample to remove possible surf=
ace uranium and use of special certified ultra-pure reagents. Labware must =
likewise be free of uranium; uranium may leach from glassware and contamina=
te the sample, leading to erroneously high readings. Since the hair samples=
 are so small, even a tiny amount of uranium contamination may give a gross=
ly exaggerated and erroneous result.

There are few, if any, data in the peer-reviewed scientific literature rela=
ting to what normal levels of uranium in hair are, or how these levels rela=
te to uranium intake, amount in the body, and the amount excreted in the ha=
ir. Thus, there is a paucity of data regarding the uranium content of hair =
and what constitutes the "normal" range. There are no generally recognized =
established standards for uranium in hair. Background levels of uranium in =
hair are highly variable from person to person and region to region, depend=
ing in large measure on dietary factors as most of the uranium in our bodie=
s comes from the food that we eat.=20

Ron Kathren, CHP

Bill Bair, Sr. Scientist
Radiological Engineering
Contractor to the US Department of Energy
(702)295-4463 (W)
(702)630-0631 (C)
(702)295-9335 (fax)

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at [mailto:radsafe-bounces at] On Behalf Of Harrison - CDPHE, Tony
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2014 10:14 AM
To: radsafe at
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Uranium in hair analysis

So, over the years we've had any number of people approach us to say that t=
hey had their hair analyzed for heavy metals and the uranium levels were at=
 the 99th percentile, or some such.  For most of these people, investigatio=
n of their drinking water, food (from gardens, usually) and other pathways =
show little or no exposure to environmental or workplace uranium, and I've =
about convinced myself that such results are mostly false positives.  I've =
been unable to find any good research on the subject, although NIOSH has so=
mewhat validated hair analysis for zinc exposure, and perhaps a few other m=
etals.  Can any of you direct me to real research, good, bad or indifferent=
, about uranium uptake in hair, or material in hair that might mimic uraniu=
m?  I don't really know how these hair tests work, but I suspect they would=
 not be approved for bioassay or drinking water samples.  Any scientific in=
fo would be greatly appreciated.

*Tony Harrison, MSPH*

*Acting Chemistry Program Manager*

P 303-692-3046  |  F 303-691-4069

8100 Lowry Blvd.  Denver, CO 80230

tony.harrison at  | ___________________________=
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