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.
Please note that we have recently had to slightly reset our human hair analysis price to AU$125. This is after nearly a decade of keeping the previous cost constant. We endeavour to keep human, animal and environmental testing affordable for families and individuals.

Human Hair Testing

Setting a new Global Standard with our Australian Laboratory

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 Hair along with innovative result visualisation that is now influencing people's health for the better.
Jump to in-depth client result examples that show evidence of exposure that correlates with their results.
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: 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, Human Bone.

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

Toxtest raising the bar in Hair Heavy Metal and Mineral Analysis
The core hair test analyses 32 Metals and Minerals. 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.

Download Hair Test Order Form

Additional elements can also be ordered on the form if needed. These include the Rare Earth Elements and others: Caesium (Cs), Cerium (Ce), Dysprosium (Dy), Erbium (Er), Europium (Eu), Gadolinium (Gd), Germanium (Ge), Gold (Au), Holmium (Ho), Lanthanum (La), Lutetium (Lu), Neodymium (Nd), Palladium (Pd), Platinum (Pt), Praseodymium (Pr), Rubidium (Rb), Samarium (Sm), Scandium (Sc), Tantalum (Ta), Terbium (Tb), Thulium (Tm), Tin (Sn), Titanium (Ti), Tungsten (W), Ytterbium (Yb), Yttrium (Y), Zirconium (Zr).

Enhancing the Standard of Hair Analysis Globally.

We are calling for Global Transparency, Collaboration, Standardisation of Procedures, Increasing detection Sensitivity of some particularly toxic elements, Prioritising children, expectant and breast feeding mothers, Data Sharing to enhance research with a view to establish more accurate population reference ranges and averages and Constant iteration of how results are presented to clients with a view to maximise action and optimise health
What Toxtest and EAL are already doing is...

  • Transparency | We publish all results. De-identified of course. People like this. Makes sharing in this age of the technology easy. | We carefully layout our population data to date and how we use this data to arrive at a sample population average. See FAQs for details. FAQs
  • Collaboration & Data Sharing | We are happy to share raw data (de-identified off course) with other researchers around the globe. Make Contact
  • Standardisation of Procedures | Hair is prepared by acid digest and analysed in a Perkin Elmer Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS). More details upon request.
  • Increasing Detection Sensitivity | Currently we can detect some heavy metals down to the parts-per-billion level. In other words around 0.001 microgram of a metal in a gram of hair. We are currently working to make this even more sensitive for some very toxic metals like arsenic and beryllium and others. In the case of Beryllium for instance there is a huge amount of data we are not getting; around 90% of clients have levels of Beryllium below the Labs level of detection (LOD). By decreasing the LOD we can develop more accurate reference ranges and population averages but more importantly reveal to you, the client, even a small exposure to this very toxic substance.
  • Prioritising the next Generation | How data is presented deeply affects how people respond to their results. We take this very seriously. A red bar in this example result from a young child, will invoke a call to action (investigate possible sources of exposure) more profoundly than a neutral beige bar. Because children and expectant mothers are particularly sensitive to Mercury, Lead, Arsenic and Cadmium, we make these bars within results turn red earlier than other metals.
Why people have their hair analysed for heavy metals with Toxtest?

First, results are easy to understand and immediately actionable.

Second, many people now know that heavy metals like Lead and Cadmium are toxic, bad for health, particularly children. They are to be avoided. However, unknown yet increasing amounts and variation of these metals are making their way into our work, homes, water, food, soil and children play areas. How much then, are we exposed. The key word is exposure. Hair testing is designed to reveal exposure, even low-dose long-term exposure to heavy metals and minerals. People see results that helps them identify exposures which then allows them to make appropriate changes.

Third, we don’t get into all the other nonsense that has indeed given hair testing a bad reputation. We are not flogging supplements. We are not purporting to make a full health assessment or even a nutritional workup, purely from a hair test. Hair testing is designed to complement medical practices like urine and blood tests, not replace them. Hair testing for heavy metals is all about exposure. Whether indeed you experience symptoms or disease from this exposure will be determined be many other factors at work in your individual life (nutrition for example), your genetics, your ability and determination to make lifestyle changes and your cognitive reserve.

Fourth, we are transparent, evidence based, health focused and open to sharing de-identified data and collaboration so as to progress the science of heavy metal hair testing.

Fifth, results can change people’s lives for the better. We constantly confirm this in peoples results and subsequently investigated exposure sources. We provide details of many possible exposures to all the metals tested. These details are regularly updated as work, food, agriculture and industrial practices change. See in-depth examples of client results.

And finally, it’s affordable for individuals and families (AU$98). Hair testing is being used more and more frequently in medicine, sport, criminology and forensic pathology in order to reveal exposure to a growing number of substances we may be exposed to through food, water, drugs, work or the environment.

We only test hair for metals and minerals at this stage. Why? Metals like Lead, Mercury, Arsenic are known to be toxic, metabolically disruptive, neurologically harmful, particularly for children and indeed are carcinogenic. There is no ambiguity there. Even Gadolinium and Titanium are being used more frequently in medicine and dentistry, yet research shows serious side-effects and indeed legal class actions (Gadolinium) have been instigated as a result.

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water testing toxtest

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 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: Suite 3, 214 Beardy Street,
Armidale, 2350, NSW, Australia
FAX: (61) 2 6526 2123

Hair Test Support Page & FAQs

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

Hair Analysis Results

See what results look like

Dust Result from work of above employee
More detailed result Examples at end

Have a Question?

Every Hair Analysis result has health and exposure information for each of the 32 Metals and Minerals tested.
Here are some examples.

World Class NATA Certified Australian Laboratory

EAL has been servicing the Australian Government, CSIRO, Corporations, Farmers and Businesses in Australian for over two decades. In collaboration with Toxtest, since 2015 and for the first time in Australia, affordable hair, water, soil, compost and dust testing of the highest standards is now available for the public.

toxtest hair test
Sample collection & Payment

SAMPLE SIZE: About 1 gram of hair or a table spoon. Further sampling details in addition to payment and Lab address are on
Downloadable Order Form

toxtest hair test sample size

If scalp hair not available or known to be contaminated, then beard hair, under-arm or pubic hair is fine.

Australian Indigenous Art on Earth's Minerals
Ubirr Region, Kakadu NP
All 32 Metals and Minerals are tested across ALL Mediums for consistency.
We also test Medications, Vaccines, Supplements, Food and more.
And in 2020 we are particularly focusing on the
Quality of our Drinking Water
Want something tested?

Hair Analysis Empirical Research continues to grow.
Indications of of usefulness seen in Client Results
Understanding Hair as an Organ

Fascinating information from the 2019 "Forensic Toxicological Analysis of Hair" article

Hair is amongst other things an excretory organ; meaning that toxic compounds in the body that may be excreted via urine, faeces, sweat and breath, can also be excreted via the hair, albeit over a much longer period of time

The three phases of hair growth are the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. The anagen phase may last up to 6 years. This is the main growth phase of hair and its approximate lifespan before it falls out. During this phase, the root remains attached to the follicle for continued growth, giving the root bulb a flame-shaped appearance.

The head hairs grow at a rate of 0.6–1.42cm/ month or 0.22–0.52 mm/day. The rate of growth of hair depends on location and type of hair.

Different types of hairs grow at different rates, e.g., pubic hair 0.3 mm/day and axillary hair 0.4 mm/day and beard hair is 0.27mm/day.

The catagen phase may proceed from 2 to 3 weeks. During this phase, hair continues to grow but at a retarded growth rate. In the catagen phase, roots acquire an elongated appearance as the root bulb shrinks and are pushed out of the hair follicle.

...the strength of hair analysis is its ability to reflect even low dose exposure from heavy metals and toxic minerals, within the individual.

This is crucial to know, especially for young children, women of child bearing age and pregnant women because many of these compounds (like Lead, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium and Chromium) cause significant physical, neurological and developmental damage to the individual. Importantly, often simple lifestyle, occupational and dietary tweaks will significantly reduce these exposures.

Once the hair growth stops, the telogen phase begins and the root takes on a club-shaped appearance. By the next 2 to 6 months, the hair is pushed out of the follicle, causing the hair to shed off naturally.

The differences in hair growth rate and to some extent that resultant concentration of chemical, lead (Pb), excreted and imbedded in the hair strand, is due to the improved blood supply, telogen-anagen ratio, difference in growth rate, and different numbers of exocrine gland. Exocrine glands are glands that secrete substances onto an epithelial surface by way of a duct. Examples of exocrine glands include sweat, salivary, mammary, lacrimal, sebaceous, and mucous. Exocrine glands are one of two types of glands in the human body, the other being endocrine glands, which secrete their products directly into the bloodstream. REF:

The growth of hair does not remain continuous throughout the course. It is a cyclic process in which hair growth phase alternates with dormant or no growth phase.

Hair is mainly composed of protein, which may range from 65 to 95% (keratin), lipids 1–9%, 15–35% water, and less than 1% minerals. Its texture, colour, and composition vary from person to person. Different types of minerals accumulated in the hair may range from 0.25 to 0.95%. About 5 million hair follicles are present in an adult. Out of these 5 million hair follicles, approximately 1 million are found in the head. Hair follicles are rooted 3–4-mm deep in the skin, in the epidermis of epithelium.

The total hair length covers its bulb rooted in the follicle through the shaft and ends at its tip. The shaft is comprised of three layers, i.e., cuticle, cortex, and medulla.

Cuticle has some ability to maintain its structural features for a longer period of time and also have some resistance to chemical decomposition.

Cortex is the second layer lying under the protective covering of cuticle.

Medulla is a collection of cells that looks like a central canal running through the hair. In many animals, this canal is a predominant feature, occupying more than half of the hair diameter. The presence and appearance of medulla vary from individual to individual and even among the hairs of the same individual.

Obviously, some of these hair growth characteristics, will make exact comparisons between individuals challenging. That’s why hair testing at this point is not a diagnostic tool. However, the strength of hair analysis is its ability to reflect even low dose exposure from heavy metals and toxic minerals, within the individual.

This is crucial to know, especially for young children, women of child bearing age and pregnant women because many of these compounds (like Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium and Cobalt) cause significant physical, neurological and developmental damage to the individual. Importantly, often simple lifestyle, occupational and dietary tweaks will significantly reduce these exposures.

From: Forensic toxicological analysis of hair: a review, Usman et al. Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences (2019) 9:17

In-depth Client Result Examples

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
Captured Light on clear
running creek on
Mt Tamborine, QLD
Photo by Hartmut Günther

Toxtest © 2015-

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