Also known as HTMA or HMA

NATA Certified Australian Laboratory
Thanks to Jan Scholten for the Spiral format of the Periodic Table presented above
Toxtest would also like to acknowledge Australia's Original Inhabitants, present Elders and upcoming Youngsters for their passion, knowledge and wisdom of environmental land, fire and water care practices.
Animal Hair Testing
32 Metals and Minerals

Animal Hair Testing

Setting a new Global Standard in Australia

Welcome. We sincerely hope that all is well with you in 2021. Our lab is busier than ever and in the last year we have begun receiving more samples from overseas. To all who have ordered a test through Toxtest - thank you. Very much appreciated.


dog with attitude

"Finally, someone is focusing on us!"

Animals, like humans, can be exposed to toxic heavy metals. And like humans, animals can suffer and get sick as a result. The main purpose of this test is to reveal possible exposure to harmful toxic metals and metalloids. We do this so that you can then do something about it. In addition to the ways humans can be exposed to specific heavy metals, animals have unique exposures through the food they eat, the water they drink and the dirt and dust they live and play in.

And like humans, animals accumulate metals in the body over time. These metals interfere in mostly negative ways with body functioning. Left unchecked this eventually progresses, and often in this order - accumulation of metal in body tissues - then metabolic and cellular disruption - then physical or mental signs - then physical or mental symptoms and finally - chronic or recurrent illness.

More than half of the Metals & Minerals we test are known to be toxic, dangerous, carcinogenic or have unknown effects on animals and humans. Long red bars in your results make it imperative to investigate possible exposure routes. Evidence indicates that results with longer red bars correlate well with even low levels of consistent exposure to these metals.

Getting The Most From Your Result Visualisation


"Yes, but it has got to be clear, actionable and evidence-based. No pussy-footing around!"


The objective of this visualisation is to make your result interpretation simple, quick and immediately clear and actionable. The colour and length of the coloured bars communicate the level of detected metal and how this level compares to a similar animal population sample average.

This page contains many of the live features available within your animal's results. We have chosen to show results online (de-identified of course) because this dynamic platform allows for a much richer and helpful experience along with the ability to receive relevant updates as they become available. We notify you via email and/or text message. You can also see and compare your results with others.

A beige coloured bar indicates that the level of metal detected in your sample is close to the sample population average or at least lower than four times the population average. If however your result is greater than four times our sample population average, the bar turns red. Additionally, a warning message is shown underneath if your result is greater than twice our sample population average.


The examples shown below are “live” – they are currently real de-identified individual human results (animal examples will be here soon). If you change your browser window size the results will adjust accordingly. The results also show the actual level expressed as mg of metal per kg of animal hair (or ppm – parts per million) and a population average relevant to your Dog, Cat, Horse etc.

If the Lab can’t detect a particular metal in your sample – like Arsenic below – then this is indicated as below the Limit of Detection (LOD). If, on the other hand your metal level result is so high it goes beyond our full bar length – like Cadmium below – then we indicate this with a red warning sign below the visualisation along with a quantitative multiple of your result above the population average.


There are links within your results (the metal name in blue) that take you to important additional information about exposure routes and health effects. It is mostly for humans, however we will be adding additional animal species-specific (Dog, Cat, Horse etc.) exposure and health information over the coming weeks. Those of you that have already received your animals results will be notified via email and/or text when updates are available for your animal.


"We want to see some results."

Hair Testing finally comes to Australia

Hair testing for heavy metals and minerals, also called a hair mineral analysis(HMA) or even a hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA), has historically been performed in the USA. This is because Australia had no Laboratory with the appropriate equipment or the expertise to drive it and analyse the results.

This changed in 2015.

Graham Lancaster, managing director at Environmental Analysis Laboratories in Lismore, Australia, acquired the equipment and expertise and in 2015 partnered with Toxtest owner, Hartmut Günther, to deliver a world class and indeed a world first publicly affordable ICP-MS analysis of Human and Animal Hair along with innovative result visualisation that is now influencing people's health for the better.
Additionally, see our in depth article on Toxno -
Animals and Pets are Sentinels for toxic Heavy Metal Exposures in Humans: Efficacy of Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HMA or HTMA)
Toxicity means disruption of normal metabolic processes.

Toxicity from heavy metals disrupts and alters important activity at the cellular level by interfering with membrane integrity, enzyme function, impaired DNA repair mechanisms, messaging and hormone function; this in-turn can translate to a myriad of conditions like elevated blood pressure, fatigue, impaired cognition, developmental delays and latter life chronic illness.

Off course there are many potentially toxic substances we can be exposed to. And we test for many of them in our Soil and Water Tests. However, heavy metals are becoming more pervasive in our environments and they can persist.

Examples of how historic contaminations can affect our pets, farm animals and wild animals: Lead is prevalent in higher than background levels in the soil around many suburban homes in our capital cities due to legacy leaded petrol and paint; Around 2/3 of the Mercury in our oceans comes from burning coal in last few hundred years (coal smoke contains Mercury, Uranium and many other toxic substances) ; Arsenic and Antimony residual contamination is often associated with legacy Gold Mining areas in Australia.

And the World Health Organisation (WHO) list Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium and Mercury in the top ten of the most important substances of concern to human health and the environment.

Evidence indicates that hair analysis is well suited to identify even low dose exposure to metals, heavy metals and minerals.

Ref: Determinants of Hair Manganese, Lead, Cadmium and Arsenic Levels in Environmentally Exposed Children, Jursa et al, 2018

Heavy Metals - What are they?

Any toxic metal may be called a heavy metal, irrespective of its' atomic mass or density, although generally, heavy metals have densities above 5g/cm3 and as part of Earth's Elements, they cannot be degraded or destroyed.

Fifty three of the ninety naturally occurring Earth's Elements are heavy metals and those of highest concern to human, animal and environmental health include arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, mercury, manganese, nickel, lead, tin, and thallium.

Metal "heaviness" and toxicity are often inter-related with heavy metals & metalloids like arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and lead able to induce toxicity even at low levels of exposure, accentuated by the fact that heavy metals persist in all parts of the environment - Water, Soil and indeed, Bone.

Ref: Environmental Pollution by Heavy Metal: An Overview, 2019

Toxtest raising the bar in Hair Heavy Metal and Mineral Analysis
Our innovative Australian NATA certified Laboratory (EAL) tests for 32 Metals and Minerals in the AU$98 Hair Test. These include...

Antimony (Sb), Silver (Ag), Arsenic (As), Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Selenium (Se), Zinc (Zn), Mercury (Hg), Iron (Fe), Aluminium (Al), Lithium (Li), Beryllium (Be), Boron (B), Vanadium (V), Cobalt (Co), Strontium (Sr), Molybdenum (Mo), Barium (Ba), Thallium (TL), Bismuth (Bi), Thorium (Th), Uranium (U), Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), Potassium (K), Sodium (Na), Sulphur (S), Phosphorus (P)

All sample collection details, payment, Laboratory address and phone numbers are on the order form that can be downloaded here. You need to send in the form with your sample hair.

Additional elements can also be ordered on the form if needed. These include: Gadolinium, Titanium, Gold, Tin, Palladium, Caesium, Platinum, Cerium, Dysprosium, Erbium, Europium, Holmium, Lanthanum, Lutetium, Neodymium, Praseodymium, Samarium, Scandium, Terbium, Thulium, Ytterbium, and Yttrium.

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Toxtest and Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL), a NATA certified laboratory (Number:14960) and division of Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Australia, collaborate to provide affordable Hair, Water, Soil and Dust testing for the public. Result presentation is visually rich, informative and prioritises human health. The A Human Hair Test analyses 32 heavy metals & minerals. Our sister site, Toxno, provides extensive exposure route and health effects information for all chemicals tested.

Graham Lancaster
EAL Managing Director

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Hartmut Günther
Toxtest Owner

Support Details

Toxtest Owner: Hartmut Michael Günther
Support from OS: (+61) 4 39 54 7788
Support in OZ: 0439 54 7788
Business Name: Toxtest
Australia ABN: 58 845 464 564
Address: Upper Burnie, Tasmania and Burleigh Heads, QLD,
FAX: (61) 2 6526 2123

Human Hair Test Page

Our entire Toxno &
Toxtest Universe

We have life-saving information from over 25,000 substances and their common Exposure Routes

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Large pink salt lake Western Australia - abstract impression

Animal Hair Analysis Results

See what results look like


First, no need to embark on elaborate detoxification procedures just because results contain red bars. But you do need to make a good attempt at identifying possible exposure pathways of those elements with red bars. Exposures containing heavy metals can include food, water, soil or other aspects of your animals environment. We spend significant time researching and updating heavy metal exposure pathways and resultant health effects for humans and some of these are also relevant to animals. Take advantage of these, take your time and read carefully, especially if your results contain metals with long red bars.

Exposure to a heavy metal may have been happening for many months - even at low doses. Elucidation of possible exposure routes can be further enhanced by follow-up testing as indicated. (Water, Dust, Soil)

Note that young children under 5 years of age can spend significant amounts of time in similar environments as your pet cat or dog. High results for your pet could indicate similar exposures for young children. Hair testing is non-intrusive.

Second, red bars do not mean that exposure to this compound at this point in time is causing symptoms or even harm to your animals. However, longer red bars are indicative of higher exposure concentrations or frequencies and as such may increase the risk of adverse health effects in the long term, particular if the element has known adverse effects via toxicology studies.

The strategy then is to identify the source of any unwanted exposures, do the best to minimise further exposure, retest in the future and give your animal the highest quality diet possible, good clean water and help them avoid experiencing long term unnecessary stress like being left alone for long periods or getting to hot or cold or being bullied by other animals.

Human Hair Analysis Results

See what Human results look like

Dust Result from work of above employee

Have a Question?

Every Animal Hair Analysis result has health and exposure information for each of the 32 Metals and Minerals tested.

The exposure and health information in these separate reports within each animal hair analysis result, is at this stage, mostly relevant to Humans. However, for animals that share environments with humans, especially pets, exposures are often shared between human and animal.

Toxtest Hair Testing
For our animal friends
All 32 Metals and Minerals are tested across ALL Mediums for consistency.
We also test Medications, Vaccines, Supplements, Food and more.
DUST, Soil and Compost and Other Solids
WATER and Other Fluids
Since 2020 we are particularly focusing on the
Quality of our Drinking Water
Want something tested?

Cow and Cattle Hair Analysis and Metal/Mineral Exposures

In relation to dairy cows, studies have found that with an increase in the heavy metal toxic load on the animal organism, milk productivity decreases.

Ref: Influence of toxic load on milk producing ability 2021


This is the primary reference that informs our sample population averages for most metals and minerals tested for our COW, HEIFERS, BULLs & CALF friends.

Miroshnikov SA, Skalny AV, Zavyalov OA, Frolov AN, Grabeklis AR. The Reference Values of Hair Content of Trace Elements in Dairy Cows of Holstein Breed. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2020 Mar;194(1):145-151. doi: 10.1007/s12011-019-01768-6. Epub 2019 Jun 7. PMID: 31175633.The Reference Values of Hair Content of Trace Elements in Dairy Cows, 2019

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From - Miroshnikov SA, Skalny AV, Zavyalov OA, Frolov AN, Grabeklis AR. The Reference Values of Hair Content of Trace Elements in Dairy Cows of Holstein Breed. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2020 Mar;194(1):145-151. doi: 10.1007/s12011-019-01768-6. Epub 2019 Jun 7. PMID: 31175633

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From - Miroshnikov SA, Skalny AV, Zavyalov OA, Frolov AN, Grabeklis AR. The Reference Values of Hair Content of Trace Elements in Dairy Cows of Holstein Breed. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2020 Mar;194(1):145-151. doi: 10.1007/s12011-019-01768-6. Epub 2019 Jun 7. PMID: 31175633

Additional References:
Miroshnikov SA, Zavyalov OA, Frolov AN, Bolodurina IP, Kalashnikov VV, Grabeklis AR, Tinkov AA, Skalny AV. The Reference Intervals of Hair Trace Element Content in Hereford Cows and Heifers (Bos taurus). Biol Trace Elem Res. 2017 Nov;180(1):56-62. doi: 10.1007/s12011-017-0991-5. Epub 2017 Mar 17. PMID: 28315118. The Reference Intervals of Hair Trace Element Content in Hereford Cows and Heifers (Bos taurus)

Perillo, L., Arfuso, F., Piccione, G., Dara, S., Tropia, E., Cascone, G., ... & Monteverde, V. (2021). Quantification of Some Heavy Metals in Hair of Dairy Cows Housed in Different Areas from Sicily as a Bioindicator of Environmental Exposure—A Preliminary Study. Animals, 11(8), 2268. Quantification of Some Heavy Metals in Hair of Dairy Cows Housed in Different Areas from Sicily as a Bioindicator of Environmental Exposure—A Preliminary Study Used for the estimation of Aluminium Average in Results

Miroshnikov, S., Zavyalov, O., Frolov, A., Sleptsov, I., Sirazetdinov, F., & Poberukhin, M. (2019). The content of toxic elements in hair of dairy cows as an indicator of productivity and elemental status of animals. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 26(18), 18554-18564. The content of toxic elements in hair of dairy cows as an indicator of productivity and elemental status of animals Used for the estimation of Ca, K, Mg, Na, P Averages in Results

Gabryszuk, M., Barszczewski, J., & Dobrzyński, J. (2018). The mineral elements content in hair of cows from conventional and organic farms. Journal of Research and Applications in Agricultural Engineering, 63(2). The mineral elements content in hair of cows from conventional and organic farms Used for the estimation of Molybdenum and Barium Averages in Results. From conventional Farming.

Gabryszuk, M., Sloniewski, K., Metera, E., & Sakowski, T. (2010). Content of mineral elements in milk and hair of cows from organic farms. Journal of Elementology, 15(2), 259-267. Content of mineral elements in milk and hair of cows from organic farms

Horse Hair and Metal/Nutrient Exposures
Metals, Heavy Metals and Nutrients like Selenium accumulate in the hair of horses when exposed to forage that is for instance high Selenium. Concentrations of Selenium in forage correlate strongly with Selenium concentration in the mane and tail hair of the horse. Additionally, horse hair analysis is used successfully to assess exposure to toxic metals.

Previous studies have demonstrated that there is a continual growth in the permanent hair of equine mane and tail. These studies indicate a relatively constant rate of growth of manes and tails over periods of time up to 12 months. Tail and mane (medial) grew at 0.792 and 0.746 mm/day, respectively. To simplify data visualisation of the results above, we have estimated population average values of trace elements and toxic metals in horse hair based on the research literature.

In addition, studies have found gender differences in hair trace element content in mane hair in horses. These studies (Valeriy V. Kalashnikov et al, 2019) recommend that gender-specific values of hair trace element content should be used for interpretation of hair analysis results in horses. If needed, you can see gender specific horse hair references ranges for a more detailed analysis of metal/nutrient levels more relevant to your horse in the literature articles provided below.

References: "Analysis in Horse Hair as a Means of Evaluating Selenium Toxicoses and Long-Term Exposures", T. Zane Davis,et al. 2014 AND "The content of essential and toxic elements in the hair of the mane of the trotter horses depending on their speed", Valeriy Kalashnikov et al, 2018 AND Assessment of Gender Effects and Reference Values of Mane Hair Trace Element Content in English Thoroughbred Horses (North Caucasus, Russia) Using ICP-DRC-MS, 2019, Valeriy V. Kalashnikov et al. All articles are available for loan here (they belong to Toxtest) or online via standard research channels or Google Scholar.


"Like our horse brothers, we absolutely can't tolerate Lead."

Hair Analysis Empirical Research continues to grow.

cats surprised

"that's right, about time you focused on us"

How long does it take to get results?
Once our Lab (EAL, in Lismore, NSW, Australia) has received your sample, results usually are sent to you via email within approximately 7 working-days. Any Inquiries please Email or phone Toxtest owner (Hartmut) on 043954 7788

How are results delivered?
You are sent an email with a link to your live results. We do not provide a printed version of results (although you can off course print the screen of your results). This approach has been very well received and differs considerably in how companies in the US only provide static results.
We have implemented this innovation for the following reasons -

  • Results are Interactive
  • Your results contain links to important information relevant to your results. These links contain significant and thoroughly researched exposure route and health information, especially for the heavy metals.

  • Results are Dynamic
  • The reports that contain exposure and health information are regularly being updated. We email or text you when this happens.

  • Results are Live
  • Innovative moving graphical visualisations make interpreting results quick and easy

  • Results are Transparent
  • Clients get a lot of value (and some confort) in seeing others results. All online results are off course de-identified.

  • Results are Easily Sharable
  • Links are provided within results that makes sharing of results (with Vets, Trainers, family or health practitioners) quick and easy.

What is an "acceptable" level of a metal?
Some metals like arsenic, mercury or lead have no known useful function in the body. Further, they are known to cause serious health issues like cancer. However, we are naturally exposed to micro-levels of these metals from the geological environment and as such these are considered "background levels" or "normal" exposure levels. Adding further load from man-made sources like industry, medicine, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, mining, and especially food and water, can raise hair levels above "normal" or the population average.

How did my pet get exposed to a Heavy Metal?
It's easy and increasingly more common. Certain brands of pet foods (we will provide links to these shortly) and water can contribute. However, as you will see, many sources exist. Read the profiles from your animal's results to start getting an idea how this is possible. The good news is that you can do something about most exposures. It just takes a little reading and adjusting your day to day practices.

Will you be testing other animals
Yes. Camels, Pigs, Lamas and Ducks are on the radar - stay tuned. Any requests to have your animal assessed or other questions please use the form below.

Can I use these results to diagnose a medical complaint or assess my nutrition status?
Let’s be really clear here. Some people do. However, we think the evidence is weak or missing that clarifies as to whether you can use a hair test to diagnose a health condition or fully assess nutrition status. As mentioned above, the primary reason we offer this test is to give some indication if exposures to toxic metals has occurred over the previous months – even at low doses. Here the evidence is strong. In other words, exposure through air, water, food, soil or other means to harmful heavy metals correlates positively with levels detected in hair. The more the exposure, the higher the level in hair.

Significant bodies of research has shown the harmful effects of heavy metals like Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd), Arsenic (As) and others on human and animal health. However, as mentioned above, the hair test result cannot be used to confirm or refute a health diagnosis. The hair test results show exposures (that you can do something about by following the links in your results), not quantitative levels that reflect actual body burden and are in turn causally linked to health issues. The bottom line – many heavy metals cause health problems – a hair test can show previous low to high dose exposure to these metals – knowing possible exposures can help to change life-style practices and reduce exposures.

How do we calculate the “estimated population average” level of a heavy metal or mineral? I’m OK with details.
Our Water, Soil, Dust and Compost results use Australian Government guidelines to establish cut-off points (when the bar turns red within your result). In contrast, the Government does not provide guidelines or references ranges for Hair Tests. Blood and Urine tests use Reference Ranges to convey what is “normal” within a population or in other words – does your result fit into a certain range that is deemed as normal. In this case the reference range is estimated statistically. Your result is considered “normal” if your results lie within 2 standard deviations of the population average – in other words your results are approximately equivalent to about 95% of other people in the population – hence your results are considered “normal”. Our Hair test results also estimate a population average and use this to visually represent your results in a meaningful but non-alarmist way. The coloured bars within your results turn red when your result is more than 4 times the population average. This indicates a call to action – increased urgency to investigate exposures and make changes in lifestyle or work that would reduce these exposures to heavy metals.

Like Human Hair, our Animal Hair test population average is manually estimated based on the 4 sources of data shown next...

However, please note, that until sufficient samples are received and processed for each animal species, we will use values from the literature.

  • All results for a particular metal within our population are averaged and a mean or median is obtained.
  • We decide which is more appropriate based on the spread of the data.

  • Outliers are identified and not included in the average calculation.
  • As an example from a human hair test, a client obtained a Lead result of 57mg/kg . This is an outlier, or in other words, way above the normal average value of most people, and we chose not to include this person’s result when calculating the population average. The reason we do this is because this person did something that most people don’t do – she was a semi-professional shooter and had very high weekly exposure to Lead via a shooting range. See our - Lead exposure from shooting ranges article for details how this is possible.

  • We research the literature.
  • We look at levels of metals in hair both in “normal” populations and populations where exposures to certain metals are much higher – occupations like mining or geographical location like living near a volcano.

  • We compare others results.
  • We compare our average using the above 3 methods to other laboratories around the world for a reality check and estimate our final population average metal hair result.

For those of you interested, here are some In-depth Human Hair Analysis Example Results

A 73 yr Male with extremely very high Lead (Pb) levels indicating much higher than average exposure. Arsenic also elevated.

This man had been using a form of male hair dye that contains Lead Acetate for many years

A 51 yr Female with extremely high Cobalt (Co) levels. In addition, Barium, Cadmium, Copper, Nickel and Zinc also elevated. These metals, including cobalt, have all been identified in nicotine-based E-cigarettes.

In this case there is evidence that the source of cobalt exposure may be in part attributed to e-cigarettes and vaping, use of which has been ongoing for more that a year.

A 46 yr Male with extremely high Antimony (Sb). Also high in other heavy metals like Lead (Pb), Cadmium (Cd) and Manganese (Mn).

Has been working in the Oil and Gas industry in Australia handling materials and substances known to contain heavy metals for many years. Has been randomly experiencing tremors (rapid hand shanking as in Parkinson's Disease) for some time. Occupational urine testing (for toxic metals) has never been done for this man or his co-workers

A series of recent results (2019-2020) of young children living near Cockburn Cement Limited (CCL), an old coal burning cement factory located in Russell Road, Munster (near Perth CBD) and is now one of the largest quicklime producers in the world (1 million tonnes each year).

During 2017/8 local residents had dust samples from their backyards tested at the National Measurement Institute (NMI) in Sydney. A set of tests results by NMI in April 2018 established that “dusts” from the factory contain several or all of the following: aluminium, antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, cesium, chromium, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, sulphur, titanium and uranium.

Astonishingly, this plant, very close to Perth, Australia and only 1 km from a built-up residential area, has clouds of very fine Portland cement frequently blown into the air and fall on residences up to at least 4 kilometres away.

All the children tested are part of a community group (Cockburn Pollution Stoppers ), currently lobbing to have the plant use natural gas instead of coal.

Nearly all the children's hair test results, revealed significant exposure to Cadmium (Cd) amongst other metals. Several results are shown here

Here at Toxtest we have programmed the speeds and sizes of electrons and proton to follow the Fibonacci number sequence for your viewing pleasure. Spinning Atom is inspired by

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running creek on
Mt Tamborine, QLD
Photo by Hartmut Günther

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It's not rocket science.
Less toxins, better health.

All impeccable analyses by
Environment Analysis Laboratories (EAL)
at Southern Cross University, Ground floor,
N Block, Military Road EAST LISMORE, NSW 2480 Australia

Innovative Visualisation, Research and Support
by Hartmut Günther, founder at
Toxtest and Toxno
PO Box U71, Upper Burnie, Tasmania, 7320, Australia | PH: 0439 54 7788

Content on Toxtest is subject to copyright ©.
CASRN: CAS Registry Number is a Registered Trademark of the American Chemical Society.

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Human & Environmental Chemical Testing for the Public. Innovative Result Visualisation with emphasis on Human Health

Toxtest © 2015- | It's not rocket science | Less toxins, better health.
Design, research, and coding by Toxtest founder, Hartmut Michael Günther