[ RadSafe ] Uranium in hair analysis

Brennan, Mike (DOH) Mike.Brennan at DOH.WA.GOV
Thu Sep 4 12:30:44 CDT 2014

I don't recall the source, but years ago someone did a study on "uranium in hair" analysis, but taking a bunch of hair from several people, and sending samples to multiple labs and multiple samples from the same people to individual labs.  They also did their own analysis (I think it was mass spec, but I don't really remember.  In any event, highly likely to find any uranium).  The results were not good, showing no consistency between labs and little from individual labs.  In fact the greatest correlation was between results indicating treatment and the lab just happening to have the "dietary supplement" that would do the trick.  

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Harrison - CDPHE, Tony
Sent: Thursday, September 04, 2014 10:13 AM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Uranium in hair analysis

So, over the years we've had any number of people approach us to say that they had their hair analyzed for heavy metals and the uranium levels were at the 99th percentile, or some such.  For most of these people, investigation 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 somewhat validated hair analysis for zinc exposure, and perhaps a few other metals.  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 uranium?  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 info 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 state.co.us  | colorado.gov/cdphe _______________________________________________
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