Home test kits...quackery

Leifer

Senior Member.
Various test kits are available that claim to indicate the presence/absence of any number of substances.....metals, carcinogens, etc.,...indicated to be potentially harmful, or essential for proper health.

Some are useful, like testing a single substance such as Lead in old paint chips, Radon gas in living areas , CO2, radioactive presence, etc....
There are even human "DNA" ancestry home test kits.

Then there are the test-kits aimed at natural health conscious people, aiming to test for vitamin/nutrient deficiencies, metal toxicity, or other human body imbalances.

Many of these test kits are sold to people interested in alternative medicine and anti-pharma "natural cures" and supplements.
Cheap ($) test kits are available to determine nearly any popular deficiency, and the kits' purpose varies by current health fads.
The highly untested herbal/supplement remedies are then claimed to help resolve the test-kit's findings. Unremarkably, the cures are nearly always sold right next to the test-kits.
https://osumex.com/prices.php

In the absence of a $20k grant, I cannot test many of the popular home test kits' claims.
In the presence of $50 dollars I can get 4 test kits.
Perhaps I still do not yet understand how a home test can differentiate between 7 or more metals, in one test kit vial.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009XTBXYQ/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1





It's results like this, that make me question the kit's ability to produce accurate returns.
If the chemicals of a natural leaf are introduced into the test....it surely invalidates the test, regardless of it's prior accuracy.


I ordered 4 of these same test kits. That's my budget (so far).
I'll have 3 available tests, testing different substances, leaving one for "a control".
Or I could test two substances, and have a control for each.
Any advice would help, in my $50 experiment.

I'll post my results after I receive the kits and do the tests.
 
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M Bornong

Senior Member.
Various test kits are available that claim to indicate the presence/absence of any number of substances.....metals, carcinogens, etc.,...indicated to be potentially harmful, or essential for proper health.

Some are useful, like testing a single substance such as Lead in old paint chips, Radon gas in living areas , CO2, radioactive presence, etc....
There are even human "DNA" ancestry home test kits.

As a licensed contractor (C-36 Plumber in California) and certified EPA renovator, I wouldn't trust any of the "over the counter" test kits for accurate testing of any substance. I've seen how accurate they are, and I won't risk my license over it, I hire professionals whom I trust, with appropriate equipment and trained in proper sampling techniques.

Results are only as good as the person using the equipment.
Re: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/debunked-dane-wigingtons-claims-that-uv-is-off-the-charts.2097/
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Leifer

Senior Member.
As a licensed contractor (C-36 Plumber in California) and certified EPA renovator, I wouldn't trust any of the "over the counter" test kits for accurate testing of any substance.
As you might know...the over-the-counter tests for lead-based paint are a "go, no-go" type test....there is lead, or there isn't. Like a home pregnancy test.....plus or minus.
In California, it is Law that as a contractor, that any attempt to remove old paint, siding, and other demolition, known to be built before 1978 must be tested for lead and asbestos.. Once the tests are completed, it becomes part of "disclosure laws", and must be presented to the owner of the property. All demolition work must be stopped if tests are positive, and then dealt with by an EPA approved hazardous waste team.

Getting a little off track, but the point is ....are these health home test-kits a "go/no-go" test ?....because surely most people or objects contain some small amount of "mercury, nickel, cadmium, cobalt, zinc, copper, lead."
It's nearly a worthless test, especially when adding other foreign objects to the chemical test bath.
I wonder if it's nothing but a simple pH test, rating the elements based on acidity/alkalinity.
 
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Leifer

Senior Member.
Perhaps I should order some "specific" single substance test kits.....for the metal elements listed in the above single test-kit.
That way I can be a little more sure of the results.

I have inquired to the test-kit manufacturer, and will get more details when they call me back.
 
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cloudspotter

Senior Member.
Perhaps I should order some "specific" single substance test kits.....for the metal elements listed in the above single test-kit.
That way I can be a little more sure of the results.

I have inquired to the test-kit manufacturer, and will get more details when they call me back.

Did you hear anything from them?
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
I use a few of these kinds of kits sold by API and Seachem on my aquariums. Never done aluminum testing, mainly worried about copper and iron myself, but the instruction pamphlets explain that contamination is ridiculously easy and suggests jumping through quite a few hoops to avoid it.

You're not supposed to use them on ponds at all, since soil or dust will invalidate them and you'll almost always get a high positive result, even if the water is fine. For indoor tanks, you're not supposed to take test water from the surface, since indoor dust can also cause a false positive. You can use a baster to collect from inside the tank, but if you have a sand substrate and diggers or sifters like cichlids or catfish, sand they kick up can contaminate the result. It recommends collecting it from either inside the body of the filter or from the filter output, but even then cautions not to touch any solid surface, since the mineralizing bacteria in the biofilm can be enough to give a false result.

That leaf test will pretty much end up being a soil test, and a lot of the metals detected by that test are common in soil, either naturally or as a contaminant.
 
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