Analysis of hair samples : how do hair sampling results relate to environmental exposures?
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Analysis of hair samples : how do hair sampling results relate to environmental exposures?

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      In growing numbers, community members who are concerned about environmental exposures are having hair samples analyzed for chemical contamination and asking public health agencies to interpret the testing results. As a result, public health officials need to understand the science of hair sampling results. This fact sheet gives basic information on the strengths and limitations of human hair analysis. Overall, although hair analysis has some potential advantages over other biological sampling techniques, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) considers that the limitations associated with hair analysis currently far outweigh the strengths of this sampling tool.

      This fact sheet applies only to the use of hair analysis for assessing environ- mental exposures, and does not address other applications of hair analysis techniques, such as use of hair analysis in forensics or in testing for illegal drug use.

      Fact sheet for health care providers.

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