R. Cornelis University of Ghent Institute of Nuclear Sciences Ghent (Belgium)

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The presence and the concentration of trace elements in hair are subject to variations according to a number of factors. The primary investigations consist in a statistical interpretation of (1) the distribution of the oligo-elements in a homogeneous hair sample, (2) the distribution over one particular head, (3) the evolution in samples taken at successive intervals, (4) the distribution over a population. Our study was mainly concerned in the influence of the time factor, and revealed an unpredictable behaviour of the elements under investigation (As, Sb, Au, Mn, Hg, Cu). There was only one exception: Zn. This unpredictable behaviour of most of the oligo-elements is due to their being influenced by such external conditions as environment, washing, hair dyes, diet and drug intake. The identification of hair samples on the basis of concentrations so inconstant and easily influenced, is a most impromising endeavour. Furthermore the irregularity in distribution of the oligo-elements over the head of one and the same person is not of a nature to make things easier. The existence of these factors not only wellnigh excludes the possibility of an identification, but they furthermore make it difficult to confirm unequivocally that a hair specimen belongs to a given person, to the exclusion of any other.

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Journal of Radionalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Language English
Size A4
Year of
per Year
per Year
Founder Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
CH-6330 Cham, Switzerland Gewerbestrasse 11.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 0236-5731 (Print)
ISSN 1588-2780 (Online)