Title: Development of a certified reference material for the analysis of trace elements in human hair: preliminary results
Citation: Heavy Metals in the Environment: Selected Papers from the ICHMET-15 Conference p. 369-376
Publisher: Maralte BV
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC65135
ISBN: 978-94-90970-00-0
URI: https://www.maralte.com/books/heavy-metals-in-the-environment
DOI: 10.5645/b.2.32
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A certified reference material (CRM) of human hair with natural levels of trace elements is being developed at the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM), with the aim of producing a suitable quality assurance standard for trace element analysis. Human hair was collected from male and female donors, then processed and bottled under stringent conditions.Since the homogeneity of the raw material is one of the main aspects to be considered during production, particular attention was given to the milling process in order to reduce the particle size and thereby avoiding heterogeneity of the whole batch produced. Between- and withinbottle homogeneity was checked by analyzing the results of specific studies, which reported low values of relative standard deviations between (sbb) and within (swb) bottle, indicators of a high homogeneity of the material. Furthermore, the water content in the material was determined and ecreased to 5% by vacuum drying, in order to reduce possible damage to the material caused by the growth of molds or bacteria over time. The mass fractions of As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb, Se, and Zn were determined in an initial study and, according to preliminary results, can be considered as being close to natural levels found in human hair when compared to the overall concentration ranges for the same elements found in literature for human hair. Moreover, the concentrations were easily detectable using common analytical techniques, making the material a good candidate for a CRM to be used in environmental and clinical analyses. More specific studies, involving homogeneity and stability tests, together with a specific characterisation study to be performed by inter-laboratory comparison approach, are being carried out by several laboratories around the world to finally obtain certified reference values for the selected trace elements in human hair.
JRC Directorate:Health, Consumers and Reference Materials

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