Hair Analysis Test using KCCT Format Fall 2011 by C3PEDF9


   Forensics Ch #3 – Hair Analysis
Hair Analysis
Author Unknown

Our hair is a reflection of all the minerals and chemicals in our bodies. Hair analysis is a
very accurate way to find out the concentrations of non-toxic and toxic minerals in the
internal organs. Not only is it accurate, but it is painless and very simple to do. This arti-
cle will tell how it is done, why legally it is an accurate technique, and what are the ele-
ments that it detects.
To do the procedure a technician will cut a small amount of hair off your head at the
nape of your neck. The hair here has usually been effected least by the chemicals of
bleaching, perming or the sun. But the most accurate spot to get hair for a hair analysis
is the pubic area. The hair sample will then be sent to a lab for analysis.
In 1985 a Federal District Court tried a case to determine the accuracy and reliability of
hair analysis. The judge deemed that hair analysis was a useful guide in the hands of a
health care professional when used along with other relevant information during treat-
ment where a chemical imbalance is suspected. In some instances hair analysis can
even be used in criminal trials to determine if drugs were taken. Hair analysis provides
evidence which stands up in Court and attorneys are using it as irrefutable evidence of
either drug abuse or abstinence. All chemicals and minerals are deposited permanently
within the hair shaft.
Employers can use hair analysis as a test to determine if employees are using drugs.
Hair analysis shows the extent of the habit, what drugs were used, and when the drugs
were taken. Hair samples for analysis can be taken months or even years after the inci-
dent, providing there is sufficient length of hair. It is not possible for hair to be changed
or substituted in any way, as a urine sample can be. Sophisticated drug users can sub-
stitute a bogus urine specimen unless collection is directly witnessed by a supervisor.

When doing medical testing hair analysis shows the intracellular concentration of chemi-
cals in the body. In other words the long term concentration of chemicals in the cells.
Urine and blood serum tests of chemicals only show current and often inaccurate levels
of chemicals. As a matter of fact, only the drugs and chemicals of 2 to 3 days prior will
show up in blood and urine testing. A hair analysis can be done and a computerized re-
port can analyze the different elements in the hair. This can be saved and after some
treatment the hair can be re-analyzed again to see if there has been any changes.
Hair analysis can be done to determine the toxic levels of lead, fluoride, arsenic, alumi-
num and cadmium in children and adults. Excess aluminum has been found in the brains
of Alzheimer’s patients. If a hair analysis shows excess aluminum in your hair cells, find-
ing ways to reduce it in your environment may stop Alzheimer’s. Therapy, such
as chelation therapy, can be done to a patient to rid the body of toxic metals. Hair anal-
ysis can detect how far back and how much lead the patient was exposed to. This can be
an invaluable tool in treatment of a young child exposed to lead. Hair analysis allows
early detection of toxicity, even before a person exhibits outward symptoms. Hair analy-
sis can also detect the amount of calcium, iron, magnesium and other minerals that are
essential to our health
          This test section contains TWELVE multiple-choice and ONE open-response (short-answer) questions.
          Please mark your answers for the multiple-choice questions in the spaces provided on your Student
          Response Booklet. Mark only one answer for each question. If you do not know the answer, make your

     Refer to the above article for questions 1-4:

____ 1.     According to the article, hair from what location is considered best for a hair analysis is?
            a.      Head hair                                     c.       Pubic hair
            b.      Hair from the nape of your neck               d.       Body hair
____ 2.     Testing hair for drugs is better than a urine test because:
            a.       Urine tests are much more                      c.      Hair test results are immediate – you
                     expensive.                                             must wait for urine results.
            b.       Hair is easier to collect.                     d.      Urine will show traces of drugs only
                                                                            2-3 days while hair will show traces
                                                                            many months.
____ 3.     Infer why the person in charge of hiring at McDonald’s would want to know the results of a hair analysis test of a
            perspective employee prior to hiring him or her.
            a.       They can use the results to               c.       They can use the results to
                     determine eating habits of a person                determine if the person has certain
            b.       They can use the results to               d.       They can use the results to gauge
                     determine if the person has a drug                 the likelihood of a person being a
                     problem                                            good and dependable worker
____ 4.     One of the greatest benefits of hair analysis may be:
            a.       The early detection of toxic                 c.        Determining if a person has had
                     substances in a person’s body                          long-term exposure to toxic
            b.       The possibility of stopping diseases          d.       All of the above.
                     such as Alzheimer’s

            Multiple Choice
            Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.

____ 5.     Michael looks under a microscope at a single strand of long, blond hair. What can Michael determine from this
            strand of hair?
            a.       Michael can determine the                  c.        Michael can determine the race of
                     nationality of the person who lost                   the person who lost the hair
                     the hair
            b.       Given a data base to match it to,          d.        Michael can determine the age of
                     Michael can determine the person                     the person who lost the hair
                     who lost the hair
____ 6.     Cindy peers into a microscope at some hair strands, and she notice that the outside of the hair is covered by many
            small ridges that remind her of fish scales. What part of the hair is Cindy seeing?
            a.       The cuticle                                 c.        The medulla
            b.       The cortex                                  d.        The follicle

                                                                                                PLEASE GO ON TO THE NEXT PAGE 
____ 7.    It is Christmas and you go outside to play. You begin to get cold. How will your hair likely react?
           a.        The hair will lay down flat to better     c.        The hair will clump up to form a
                     insulate you                                        layer to keep you warm
           b.        The hair will stand up to trap air        d.        Your body hair does not have any
                     pockets and help keep you warm                      effect on body temperature
____ 8.    While working the scene of a homicide, Officer Smith finds several long strands of dark colored hair near the body.
           What kind of evidence has Officer Smith discovered?
           a.      Direct evidence                            c.       Circumstantial evidence
           b.      Primary evidence                           d.       Individual evidence

____ 9.    All mammals have hair. Its main purpose is to:
           a.     Regulate body temperature--to keep the body warm by insulating it.
           b.     Protect the body from an attack.
           c.     Protect the body from rugged terrain.
           d.     None of these choices.
____ 10.   At a crime scene, the crime scene specialist finds several hairs. The hairs are dark and very curly. When looked at
           under a microscope, the specialist notes that the hair is rather small in diameter. What racial group did this hair
           likely originate from?
           a.        Asian
           b.        African
           c.        European
           d.       Hispanic
____ 11.   Hair viewed for forensic investigations is studied both macroscopically and microscopically. Microscopic
           characteristics include the:
           a.       Color of the hair                            c.      The pattern of the Medulla
           b.       The thickness of the hair                    d.      Curliness of the hair

____ 12.   Officer Smith works a crime scene where an altercation took place. The deceased victim is clutching a handful of
           hair, and it is determined that it is not her own. Upon closer inspection, forensic specialists determine that the hair
           was pulled out by their roots during the fight. Why is having this hair a big break in helping solve this case?
           a.       Because the more hair that is                 c.       Because the police got enough hairs
                    present, the more likely the police                    to determine all the different kinds
                    are to match it to the killer                          of hair that the killer has
           b.       Because you have to have at least 50          d.       Because the hair will have their
                    hairs to make a positive ID                            follicles and police can run DNA
                                                                           tests on it.

                                       OPEN-RESPONSE QUESTION
      Read all parts of the open-response question before you begin. Write your answers to the open-response
      question in the space provided on your Student Response Booklet. DO NOT WRITE ANY ANSWERS IN

      13. There has been a shooting, and one lady is found dead. There is evidence of a struggle. Among
      other trace evidence, the Crime Scene Investigator recovers a number of stray hairs that are both on
      the clothing of the victim and around the body.

      a. List and explain 2 items that a forensic scientist can determine from these strands of hair.
      b. Compare/contrast class and individual evidence, and how hair fits into class or individual evidence.
         Use a Venn diagram or a T-chart to complete your answer.

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