Author Affiliations: Laboratory Practice Assessment Branch, Division of Laboratory Systems, Public Health Practice Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chamblee, Ga (Dr Steindel) and Department of Pathology, University Hospital, State University of New York, Health Science Center at Brooklyn, Brooklyn (Dr Howanitz).
In 1985, an article by Barrett1 published
in THE JOURNAL addressed several issues related to the use of trace metal
hair analysis for assessing nutritional status. Now, in this issue of THE
JOURNAL, Seidel and colleagues2 show that many
of same concerns raised 15 years ago by Barrett's study remain unresolved.
Both studies used a self-prepared split sample that was sent to several laboratories
specializing in trace metal analysis of human hair. Both noted the divergence
of results obtained and the health-related claims made. Seidel et al also
commented on the current regulatory environment that hair analysis laboratories
Steindel SJ, Howanitz PJ. The Uncertainty of Hair Analysis for Trace Metals. JAMA. 2001;285(1):83-85. doi:10.1001/jama.285.1.83