Meconium Resources

Meconium Resources

To view the Meconium Testing Panels and Collection Instructions, click here.

Meconium Videos

CCDG Presentation

Watch Video

Maternal Marijuana Use by Joseph Jones

Watch Video

The Importance of Following Forensic Principles in Newborn Drug Testing by Dr. Irene Shu

Watch Video

Meconium Collection Overview

Watch Video

View All Videos

Meconium Infographics

View All Infographics

Meconium Articles

A Moment In Time 02-Feb-2015

Lost Opportunities 02-Feb-2015

View All Articles 

USDTL Meconium Research

View All USDTL Research

Meconium Poster Presentations

View All Poster Presentations

USDTL Meconium Assisted Research

View All USDTL Assisted Research

Meconium Foundational Research

View All Foundational Research

Meconium Slide Presentations

The Importance of Following Forensic Principles in Newborn Drug Testing by Dr. Irene Shu

View All Slide Presentations

Meconium Announcements

Update to Meconium Collection Update to Meconium Collection


To help you have the best possible solutions that science can offer, we are consistently evaluating our processes to keep them ahead of the curve. As science progresses, so do our capabilities. Because of such progress, we have some important updates to the meconium collection process.

Report Change Notification Report Change Notification


Effective July 18, 2016, USDTL will be implementing a new way of reporting quantitative results. In order to satisfy accreditation requirement, the concentrations of drugs exceeding the Upper Limit of Quantification (ULOQ) for any given drug will be reported as > ULOQ (greater than ULOQ). The ULOQ will be provided.

Quantity Not Sufficient (QNS) Explained Quantity Not Sufficient (QNS) Explained


Quantity Not Sufficient (QNS) is a result of not having a sufficient quantity (volume) of
specimen to test for the panels ordered. The amount of specimen required for collection
is directly related to the amount of specimen needed to screen and confirm for the panels we offer. The initial screening uses a portion of the original specimen and the confirmation testing uses another portion of the original specimen. To forensically confirm positives, means running a new test, with a new portion of the original specimen, using a different analytical technique.

Updated Policy Regarding Insufficient Specimen Volumes Updated Collection Instructions Updated Policy Regarding Insufficient Specimen Volumes Updated Collection Instructions


It is our first priority to deliver testing results that provide the most valuable information possible for your substance abuse testing needs. To better accomplish this duty to our clients, we are updating our policy concerning specimens that do not have sufficient volume for both preliminary testing and confirmation. Effective April 1, 2015, confirmatory tests that cannot be completed due to insufficient specimen volume will be canceled on an individual drug class and/or analyte basis. We will report confirmation results for each test for which there is sufficient volume of specimen available, giving you access to more information.

View All Announcements

Meconium FAQs

*Click the green and white plus sign beside each question to view the answer.

Can a hair test be manipulated by the donor?

Yes. Bleaching, perming, dyeing and straightening can affect the outcome of a hair test. Cosmetically treated hair should not be collected.

Can the reported quantitation of drug or metabolite in hair, nail, meconium, umbilical cord, or urine be used to determine the timing of the drug use, how often the donor uses the drug, or the extent of the donor's drug use?

No, when testing a reservoir specimen type, a specimen type where analytes tend to accumulate, you may not backtrack to determine time, dosage, or frequency. The result is positive or negative for the appropriate detection window associated with the specimen type.

How does using a forensic drug test help the child later in life?

There are several reasons why testing a newborn for potential substances is important. Early detection provides many more options than detection at a later stage in the child's life including:

  • Early detection of alcohol biomarkers allows newborns to be identified and enrolled into early intervention and community programs. New programs are showing dramatic improvements in children identified earlier in life.
  • Detection of an exposed child can allow help, intervention and treatment to be offered to the mother, so that exposure during future pregnancies may be prevented.
  • The forensic identification of fetal alcohol exposure allows future corroboration of alcohol related disorders in childhood.

How much meconium is needed for the test?

A minimum of 3 grams of meconium (about a teaspoon) is normally required. However, for best results, we recommend collection of the entire passage of meconium until the milk stool appears.

What are the meconium specimen storage requirements?

Drugs and metabolites are stable in meconium for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. Storage in a refrigerator or freezer is preferred. Alcohol biomarkers specifically fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE), are sensitive to heat and light; therefore, the preferred shipping method is frozen on dry ice. Since shipping via this method is both difficult and expensive, most institutions send specimens at room temperature and realize that the FAEE concentrations may be reduced. USDTL accept specimens that are shipped at room temperature.

What is meta-hydroxybenzoylecgonine (m-OH-BZE)?

Meta-hydroxybenzoylecgonine (m-OH-BZE) is a metabolite of cocaine which is often present in the meconium of neonates born to cocaine-using mothers. It is a minor metabolite in adults, but it has been identified as the only cocaine metabolite present in 23 percent of meconium specimen screening positively for cocaine.*

*Reference: Lewis D, Moore C, Becker J, Leikin J. Prevalence of meta-hydroxybenzoylecgonine (m-OH-BZE) in meconium samples. Bulletin of the lnt.Ass.Forens Toxicol 1995;25(3):33-36

What is the turnaround time for testing results?

Generally, the standard turnaround time for reporting negative screening test results is the next business day, with an additional 1-2 business days for specimens that require confirmatory testing. Turnaround time begins from receipt of the valid specimen -accompanied by a properly documented valid order- into the laboratory. Some tests require additional time to process and will fall outside the standard turnaround time window.

View All FAQs

contact USDTL


Newsletters, Posters, and Catalogs

Our print materials will keep you up to date on the latest news in drug and alcohol testing.

Request Literature

Request Your Collection Supplies

For your convenience, USDTL provides test collection supplies at no additional charge.

Order Supplies


View Resources