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October 17, 1977

Green Hair

JAMA. 1977;238(16):1722. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280170016010

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To the Editor. —  A popular magazine brought my attention to the article "Green Hair" by Lampe et al (237: 2092, 1977). The article ascribes the green hair of swimmers in some pools to leaching from copper pipes.The article was of particular interest to me because in April 1975 my daughter Heather, as a 17-year-old member of the San Marcos High School swim team, discovered that her hair developed a greenish tint. Suspecting the pool water, she determined to find out why. Her investigations resulted in a prize-winning paper submitted to a science fair.Her findings also implicated copper. For example, among the investigations was an in vitro study in which water turned blond hair greenish yellow if a penny, chlorine, and acid were added; no two of these factors alone produced this result.I am justifiably proud of my daughter, who is now a junior premed student with