Journal of Industrial and Environmental Chemistry

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Analysis of some trace metals in human hair using atomic absorption spectrophotometry for forensic applications

Hair samples collected from thirty-four (34) individuals in Wudil Local Government Area of Kano State Nigeria with respected to age, sex and smoking habits were analyzed for trace metals (Ca, Zn, Cu, Cd, Cr, Mg and Pb) using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric (AAS) technique. The result obtained indicated the mean concentrations of trace metals in the human hair of both male and female respondent follow similar trend as Ca>Zn>Cu>Pb>Cr>Mg>Cd. The levels of Ca and Mg were found higher in female respondents compared to the men. Also, the standard deviation obtained for the level of Pb and Cd were higher in males while Cr was found to be higher in females. Cd and Ca shows a gradual increase as it rises thorough the studied age groups, and the abruptly drops at the last age group (≥ 41). Cu was also found to have the highest concentration in individuals of the highest age group (≥ 41). Age and smoking habits also had great influence on trace metal hair concentrations among the Wudil inhabitants. The results of the study may provide information regarding hair sex, age, and habit of the individuals during forensic investigations.

Author(s): Paul Ocheje Ameh, Onwuka Orji Mba