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July 1981

Hair Trace Elements and Human Illness

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Arch Dermatol. 1981;117(7):448. doi:10.1001/archderm.1981.01650070076038

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This book is composed of an assortment of chapters representing diverse subjects that were presented at the Second Human Hair Symposium in 1978. It is divided into four parts that vary from excellent in some aspects to lesser quality in other aspects. While the book's title implies a promise of some thread of coherent relationships among hair, its trace elements, and human illness, after finishing the book, the reader may wonder what directional lesson was actually intended.

Part 1, accounting for approximately one third of the book, has its principal value in the definition of techniques and methods for the analysis of trace elements and metals in hair. Some studies in this part include data on the scalp hair content of some materials (eg, arsenic, lead, and mercury, among others), which are correlated with the donors' estimated environmental exposures to these materials. Such analyses seem to provide credible conclusions that

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