Updated on 19 October, 2021
A hair analysis test is a reliable, accurate way of quick identification for both chronic and acute exposure to hazardous metals and hazardous elements like cadmium, mercury, antimony and arsenic. Unfortunately, there are many problems associated with its improper use. Most hair testing kits are not very sensitive and may incorrectly indicate exposure to certain metals. This article discusses the problems with hair analysis tests.
The first major problem is that most blood tests and hair tissue mineral analysis reports do not provide information on concentrations or retention times. The results of blood tests may not indicate concentrations of toxic substances because their retention time is not known. Hair analysis reports can only indicate the concentration of hazardous chemicals in a subject's blood or hair at a specific time. They cannot indicate how much exposure occurs over time because blood concentrations of hazardous chemicals may change over time. Hair tissue mineral analysis and urine tests cannot determine how much exposure has been experienced over a period of days, weeks or months.
Another major problem is that nutritional assessment is rarely performed when evaluating exposure. Hair mineral analysis provides data on the amount of toxic chemicals in subject's hair; however, nutritional status is not evaluated because the evaluation does not require a nutrient reference. Nutritional assessment requires a calculation of required nutrient intake by multiplying the estimated normal requirements of the subject by a daily nutrient requirement calculator. This information must be interpreted carefully because an inadequate nutrient intake could increase toxicity when the toxic substance is present in higher concentration than needed to elicit a response.
Hair mineral analysis and urine tests cannot determine whether the blood levels of sodium, potassium and magnesium are adequate or if they are too elevated. Both blood tests and hair tests provide information on average cell content (how much of each nutrient is in the blood cells) and on the salt-water content of the blood. The blood tests indicate how well the sodium and potassium levels are managed throughout the day. Hair analysis tells the chemical composition of the subject's hair. A low sodium/potassium ratio indicates a high sodium level; conversely, a high potassium level indicates a low potassium level.
The third type of test results used in assessing toxicity are laboratory items tested for heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and mercury. All metals are naturally found in the environment, but a combination of exposure and natural degradation can increase their toxicity. A heavy metal test results provide information on how much of a specific metal is present in the patient's blood, and in what quantity. Specific heavy metals that are frequently tested for are lead, mercury, and copper. Hair Analysis Test can also identify the presence of antimony, cysts, and barium in the patient's hair.
Hair Analysis Kits for Chemical Monitoring have become increasingly accurate due to advances in analytical methodologies, and have become the most highly regarded method of toxicology in clinical settings today. Results are extremely accurate, especially for very small samples, which allows for rapid and easy analysis. Hair samples can be analyzed for lead, mercury, arsenic, and almost all other elements. The result is a detailed, personalized analysis, which identifies individualized patterns of toxicity.
The accuracy of a mineral hair analysis test is determined by its ability to separate different elements at different concentrations in the sample. A laboratory that has the latest equipment and the most sensitive methodologies is essential in order to achieve this level of accuracy. Most labs use multi-well plates in order to separate and analyze different minerals in the same sample.
There are many different methods available for analyzing hair mineral analysis test results. A wide range of laboratory equipment and techniques are available to analyze samples for toxic heavy metals. For patients who need toxic heavy metals testing, it is important that a hair analysis laboratory uses state-of-the-art analytical technology and is fully capable of providing clean, valid test results. Laboratory professionals who understand how to interpret test results are very helpful to patients who are concerned about potential exposure to toxins from certain common household substances.