Laboratories that perform pre-employment drug screening are fighting back — against hundreds of products now on the market that promise to mask evidence of illicit drug use, according to an article scheduled for the Sept. 8 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS’ weekly newsmagazine.
In the article, C&EN Senior Business Editor Melody Voith points out that job applicants now have access to an array of products purported to alter urine samples to hide evidence of marijuana, cocaine, and other illegal drugs. Some are supposed to dilute evidence of illicit drugs to levels undetectable by conventional tests. Others used adulterants advertised to inactivate or destroy chemical markers used to identify drugs.
Drug-testers are responding with more sensitive tests that can identify tell-tale chemical signs of diluted urine samples or quickly detect the presence of adulterants. The article also explains that testers may get a boost from proposed new drug testing guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. They would permit use of hair and saliva samples in drug screening of candidates for federal jobs. That screening could indentify illicit drugs more reliably than urine samples alone, the article notes.