Hair provides a record of past and current trace element levels.
Unlike blood, fur, hair, nails and hooves are an inert substance that consists of a fibrous protein and trace elements. As these tissues grow, nutrient and toxic elements are deposited from the blood stream into the follicle, the hair, fur, nail or hooves. Once a trace element has been incorporated, it remains fixed. The metal content of these samples will not change. Reliable testing can be performed years after sampling.
Sample taking is painless, sample shipping is not timely.
The analysis of these samples, especially of animal hair or fur requires meticulous sample preparation, during which the sample is freed from external contaminants. Sample analysis is performed using the same instrumentation and criteria as laboratory diagnostics require for metal testing of blood and urine.
Hair analysis, when properly performed, is a reliable measure of tissue levels. Source: Jenkins DW. Toxic Metals in Mammalian Hair and Nails. EPA Report 600, 1979.
Needed material: 0.500 grams hair or fur (no mane)
Sample processing of hair, fur, nails and hooves is very time-consuming and much more involved than processing of blood, urine or water.
Sample washing before sample submission is not needed, nor do fur or nails be cut with special scissors. The reason is simple: we do wash samples meticulously and repeatedly with deionized solutions. Dust and other contaminants are removed and the sample is then dried in a special drying oven.
Before the spectroanalytical analysis, samples are digested (dissolved) with certified metal-free acids and other solvents in a closed tubes. To fully complete that process, samples are placed in special microwave oven.
With the most modern ICP-MS instrumentation involving cell technique, elemental testing is performed, utilizing certified standards. Unusual results are confirmed through multiple testing.
We have reference ranges for the following animals:
We are able to test fur or nails of other animals, but may not have applicable reference ranges!