HAIR TESTING
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HMA or HTMA) in Australia from Toxtest

NOTE: Sample collection details, Laboratory address and payment details are on this form.

This is an important non-invasive test particularly for children and adults living in geographical areas that are susceptible to heavy metal contamination. This test is offered for the first time in Australia by the collaboration of Toxtest and EAL (Environment Analysis Services at Southern Cross University, Lismore).

These tests are aimed at the general public with costs kept low as possible and results visualised in a way that makes immediate sense.

Recent research and evidence now confirm that a hair test is a reliable tool to investigate low dose chronic heavy metal exposure – particularly in children.

Note that standard blood and urine tests are more suited to occupational or high level exposures to heavy metals. However, these tests routinely miss or fail to confirm low-dose daily exposures and body sequestration.

Test cost is $98 which includes extensive interactive report. You can download the order form , fill it out and send directly to our lab along with your hair sample. Further details are on the Toxtest site.

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Description

See additional details on our Hair Test page on Toxno

Elements Tested in the standard test include (via ICP-MS): Antimony (Sb), Silver (Ag), Arsenic (As), Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Selenium (Se), Zinc (Zn), Mercury (Hg), Iron (Fe), Aluminium (Al), Lithium (Li), Beryllium (Be), Boron (B), Vanadium (V), Cobalt (Co), Strontium (Sr), Molybdenum (Mo), Barium (Ba), Thallium (TL), Bismuth (Bi), Thorium (Th), Uranium (U), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Potassium (K), Sodium (Na), Sulphur (S), Phosphorus (P)

You can also request these additional metals – Gadolinium, Tin, Titanium, Caesium, Cerium, Dysprosium, Erbium, Europium, Holmium, Lanthanum, Lutetium, Neodymium, Praseodymium, Samarium, Scandium, Terbium, Thulium, Ytterbium and Yttrium.

For the first time in Australia, human hair testing is available to the public using the absolute latest Perkin Elmer Inductively Coupled Plasma–Mass Spectrometer at Environmental Analysis Laboratories in Lismore, Australia. Instrument detection limits are at or below the single part per trillion (ppt) level for many of substances tested.

What results look like

Results are then presented online without any personal details – hence preserving privacy and confidentiality. Many innovative features are utilised so that individuals can get the outmost from their results.

It’s also a great way for children to get screened for heavy metal exposure like antimony, lead and mercury because of the non-invasive nature of the test.

Because this test and the expertise is now available in Australia, we can keep the cost under $100 – which includes an interactive report (tests ordered in Australia from US labs are still around $130-$150)


Some interesting information on one of the extra metals we test – Caesium
From Wikipedia

Caesium has 39 known isotopes, ranging in mass number (i.e. number of nucleons in the nucleus) from 112 to 151. Several of these are synthesized from lighter elements by the slow neutron capture process (S-process) inside old stars[45] and by the R-process in supernova explosions.[46] The only stable caesium isotope is 133Cs, with 78 neutrons. Although it has a large nuclear spin (7/2+), nuclear magnetic resonance studies can use this isotope at a resonating frequency of 11.7 MHz.[47]

A graph showing the energetics of caesium-137 (nuclear spin: I=7/2+, half-life of about 30 years) decay. With a 94.6% probability, it decays by a 512 keV beta emission into barium-137m (I=11/2-, t=2.55min); this further decays by a 662 keV gamma emission with an 85.1% probability into barium-137 (I=3/2+). Alternatively, caesium-137 may decay directly into barium-137 by a 0.4% probability beta emission.

Decay of caesium-137

The radioactive 135Cs has a very long half-life of about 2.3 million years, the longest of all radioactive isotopes of caesium. 137Cs and 134Cs have half-lives of 30 and two years, respectively. 137Cs decomposes to a short-lived 137mBa by beta decay, and then to nonradioactive barium, while 134Cs transforms into 134Ba directly. The isotopes with mass numbers of 129, 131, 132 and 136, have half-lives between a day and two weeks, while most of the other isotopes have half-lives from a few seconds to fractions of a second. At least 21 metastable nuclear isomers exist. Other than 134mCs (with a half-life of just under 3 hours), all are very unstable and decay with half-lives of a few minutes or less.[48][49]

The isotope 135Cs is one of the long-lived fission products of uranium produced in nuclear reactors.[50] However, this fission product yield is reduced in most reactors because the predecessor, 135Xe, is a potent neutron poison and frequently transmutes to stable 136Xebefore it can decay to 135Cs.[51][52]

The beta decay from 137Cs to 137mBa is a strong emission of gamma radiation.[53] 137Cs and 90Sr are the principal medium-lived products of nuclear fission, and the prime sources of radioactivity from spent nuclear fuel after several years of cooling, lasting several hundred years.[54] Those two isotopes are the largest source of residual radioactivity in the area of the Chernobyl disaster.[55] Because of the low capture rate, disposing of 137Cs through neutron capture is not feasible and the only current solution is to allow it to decay over time.[56]

Almost all caesium produced from nuclear fission comes from the beta decay of originally more neutron-rich fission products, passing through various isotopes of iodine and xenon.[57] Because iodine and xenon are volatile and can diffuse through nuclear fuel or air, radioactive caesium is often created far from the original site of fission.[58] With nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s through the 1980s, 137Cs was released into the atmosphere and returned to the surface of the earth as a component of radioactive fallout. It is a ready marker of the movement of soil and sediment from those times.[11]