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Biol Trace Elem Res. 1994 Jan;40(1):1-8.

The influence of color, age, and sex on the content of zinc, copper, nickel, manganese, and lead in human hair.

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Ufficio Sicurezza e Prevenzione del C.N.R., Padova, Italy.


The hair of 132 healthy subjects between 6 and 40 yr old living in the Veneto region in Italy was analyzed by means of HPLC method in order to determine the presence of zinc, copper, nickel, manganese, and lead. The collected samples were subdivided on the basis of age (6-11 and 19-40 yr), and sex and color (black, red, brown, and blond). From the data some evident differences were emphasized. In female hair the content of metals was higher than in male hair independently of color. Blond hair gave the lowest concentration values of the elements studied independently of sex. The maximum amount of the metals was found generally in black hair, followed by red and brown hair. Age seems to have a different influence, with the copper element decreasing appreciably in brown and blond female hair as the age of the subjects increased.

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