Tanzania Journal of Science

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The abundance of some elements in hair from Tanzanian children

NK Mohammed


Reference values for elements in human hair of people from different countries have been published in literature. However, the data did not include the hair elemental concentrations of the Tanzanian population. Therefore, this study produces the first data available on hair trace element concentration from children in Tanzania. Samples of hair from children living in three regions in Tanzania were analysed for their elemental content using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) of Nuclear Physics Institute (NPI) at Rez, Czech Republic. The elements were tested for the type of probability distribution; hence frequency histograms for the elements were  plotted. Arithmetic and geometric means with their respective standard  deviation are presented for 34 elements. Sub groups were formed according to age and sex of the children. Differences in concentrations for the groups were analysed and discussed. The elements were also subjected to a non parametric Spear’s correlation test in order to find their relationship in hair.

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