To determine if excessive systemic exposure to aluminum would be reflected in increased aluminum concentration in hair, rabbits were given a series of aluminum lactate injections. Hair was collected before the aluminum lactate administration from the site of injections and twice after the injections from this site as well as from an area adjoining the injection site. Aluminum was determined by flameless atomic absorption analysis of acid-digested samples. The concentration of aluminum in the hair increased after the injections in samples taken at both times from both sites. Considerable variability in hair aluminum was found before excessive exposure, as has been reported in humans, and in response to the exposure. The increase in hair aluminum did not correlate with the amount of hair produced. Nevertheless, because some subjects exposed to excessive aluminum showed a very large increase in hair aluminum, hair may be a useful indicator of aluminum body burden in such aluminum-induced conditions as dialysis encephalopathy.
This work was supported by NIH grant 1 R02 MH 34188 and a grant from the University of Kentucky Research Foundation.
Yokel, Robert A., "Hair as an Indicator of Excessive Aluminum Exposure" (1982). Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications. 61.