Scalp hair

Hairs of the head; scientific name: Capillus
Scalp hair sample
Photo: UKM Münster

Ideal matrix for the detection of internal exposure to methylmercury.

Hairs are an excretion compartment of the body. Due to analyzing single hair segments information about time trend of exposure can be obtained.

Based on epidemiological data, toxicokinetic knowledge and under consideration of practical factors hairs are the best indicator medium for assessment of individual methyl mercury exposure.

In adequate great populations and based on groups hair analysis can be used as screening method for assessment of exposures to nicotine, inorganic arsenic compounds, and lead, especially in children.

But due to hair analysis exposure source can not be identified.

Sampling area


Sampling period

1981 - 2004