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Re: uranium in hair

In a message dated 98-04-10 16:54:06 EDT, pac4@cdc.gov writes:

<< Radsafers -- does anyone have an accepted value for uranium in hair?
 How about uranium in hair colorants?
 We received some information from a person who lives near a nuclear
 plant and believes he has been
 exposed to uranium.  The individual had hair samples analyzed from a
 "laboratory" in Chicago that found "elevated uranium"
 in the hair. >>

We have had numerous inquiries from individuals reported to have high uranium
levels in their hair.  When we called and talked to the lab in Chicago
(probably the same one) we were told that in fact they only had about 200
samples from which they derived their "normal" level, and they defined
anything above 2 standard deviations above this level as indicating that
further investigation should be done.  This was over a year ago that I spoke
with them.

They also stated that almost all the samples they test from Califonia show
"elevated" levels.  The people we have heard from do not live near (within 50
miles of) nuclear power plants, nor was there any other information provided
by these people that would cause one to expect elevated levels.  My personal
guess?  People in some regions of the country are exposed to higher levels of
naturally occurring U than in other regions through food and water.

The lab in Chicago had no information regarding what would cause higher levels
in some portions of the population than others, nor did they have any
information regarding what level one might actually expect some physical

If you find any more information on this, I would be very interested, because,
as I've stated, our office has received several calls regarding these

Barbara L. Hamrick
Los Angeles County Radiation Management