Hair Analysis

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Synonyms

Commercial hair analysis;Hair mineral analysis; Hair trace metal analysis

Definition

Hair analysis is an approved method for determining trace element concentrations and exposure to heavy metals (World Health Organization, 1990). Scalp hair is removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The most common elements analyzed by laboratories in the United States, as determined by Seidel, Kreutzer, Smith, McNeel, & Gilliss (2001), include aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), calcium (Ca), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), mercury (Hg), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), sodium (Na), nickel (Ni), phosphorus (P), lead (Pb), selenium (Se), and zinc (Zn).

Many children with autism are selective eaters, leading to concerns about possible nutritional deficiencies. Additionally, trace metals are related to neurotransmitter synthesis and brain electrochemistry and therefore have the potential to affect neurological functio