Volume 17, Issue 3 (July 1972)
The Variation of Trace Element Concentrations in Single Human Head Hairs
Hair from the human body is frequently encountered in the examination of crime-scene physical evidence. Study of metallic components by neutron activation analysis (NAA) and application of the results of such studies in forensic work, have been made difficult by the complexity of the hair system and its attendant surface contamination. As was noted in 1967 , “virtually everyone working with hair by this method [NAA] uses a different type of sampling, and a different method of cleaning the hair, and nobody yet really knows enough about the basic chemistry, morphology and behaviour of the hair shaft to be able to assess reliably the significance of the results.” The literature [2,3] contains both optimistic and pessimistic prognoses of the possibility of establishing whether or not a hair came from the head of a given individual.