Forensic Drug Testing Lab

Hair Exposure Testing (ChildGuard®)

When a child is exposed to illegal substance abuse they often face other coexisting obstacles to a normal life - neglect, abuse, violence, and other vulnerabilities. Substance abuse is a disease, one that often prevents adults from doing what is in a child’s best interest. Detecting these dangerous environments is paramount to keeping the child safe. Testing with ChildGuard® can assist, where other exposure drug tests fall short.

ChildGuard® is the only drug test designed to detect passive exposure to drugs, distinguishing between both native drugs and drug metabolites in hair specimens. Drug metabolites are produced in the body only if drugs have been ingested. Children in drug exposed environments are most often not drug users themselves, so drug metabolites are typically absent when a child is being tested for drug exposure. Typical hair tests with other labs will only report a positive exposure result if drug metabolites are detected, even when the native drug is in the child’s hair specimen. ChildGuard® reports a positive result if either native drugs or drug metabolites are detected, giving much better insight about the child’s environment. ChildGuard® can provide evidence of substance use in a child’s environment for the past 3 months, and can be performed on donors of any age.

A positive ChildGuard® test result suggests that the donor has experienced one or more of the following:

• Contact with drug smoke,
• Contact with sweat or sebum (skin oil) of a drug user,
• Contact with the actual drug,
• Accidental or intentional ingestion of the drug(s).

Our forensic test for passive exposure is the first and only test of its kind. See our hair testing pages for information about specimen collection.

Click here to download this information.

Click here to view the Hair Exposure Testing (ChildGuard®) Resources page.

Drug Panels

  • 9 Panel
  • 7 Panel
  • 5 Panel
Amphetamines
amphetamine, MDA, MDEA, MDMA, methamphetamine
Cannabinoids
carboxy-THC, native-THC
Cocaine
benzoylecgonine, cocaethylene, cocaine, norcocaine
Opiates
6-MAM, codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine, oxymorphone, oxycodone
Phencyclidine
phencyclindine (PCP)
Benzodiazepines
alprazolam, diazepam, midazolam, nordiazepam, oxazepam, temazepam
Barbiturates
amobarbital, butalbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, secobarbital
Methadone
EDDP, methadone
Propoxyphene
norpropoxyphene
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*Click the green and white plus sign beside each drug class to view the substances within each class.
Add-Ons Available
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Collection

Collection Instructions
Collection Steps
Prior to each collection
Prior to each collection, place the scissors, clips, and comb in a 70% or a 91% isopropyl alcohol solution for 10 minutes. Do not use an ethyl-based alcohol solution.
Examine the donor’s hair
Examine the donor’s hair prior to beginning the collection. Check that the donor’s hair is not chemically treated or synthetic.
Verify the donor’s identity
Verify the donor’s identity with a government-issued photo ID.
On the Custody and Control Form do the following
On the Custody and Control Form do the following: A. Once verified, mark the Picture ID Verified box on the Custody and Control Form. B. Record the donor’s ID number. This may be the Social Security number, Driver’s License number, Medical Record number, Employee number or any other number of your facilities choosing. C. Record the donor’s name (optional). D. Mark the specimen matrix and location. E. Mark the appropriate reason for testing. F. Mark the panel ordered for this collection. G. Record the Collection Site Facility information if it is different than the Account Information at the top of the form.
Open the collection supplies
Open the collection supplies in the presence of the donor.
Fold each side of the collection foil up to form a tray
Fold each side of the collection foil up to form a tray and open the envelope so the printed ruler is visible.
Clipping the hair
Clipping the hair: The ideal site for collection is at the top of the back of the head, called the crown or vertex area. Collector should use gloves throughout the collection. For Hair Longer than 1.5 inches: A. Isolate a section of hair above the area to be sampled, and secure it with a hair clip. Using a rat-tail comb, select a section of hair to be clipped with cutting shears at scalp level. If the client has thin hair, multiple sites may be used. B. Clip the hair and place it on the envelope near the printed ruler with the root end to the left. Using the ruler, cut the hair to 1.5 inches in length, keeping the 1.5 inches closest to the root end. Discard the rest of the hair. Place the hair in the foil tray. Continue collection until you have 100mg of specimen. For Hair Shorter than 1.5 inches: C. Collect smaller amounts of hair from multiple sites around the head. Place the hair in the foil tray. Continue collection until you have 100mg of specimen.
Fold the foil inward several times
Once the required amount of specimen has been collected, fold the foil inward several times to secure the hair inside the foil and place it inside the collection envelope. Note: Body hair is an acceptable alternative when scalp hair is not available. The same instructions apply to collecting body hair. Clip as close to the root as safely possible and place in the foil tray. Once 100mg is collected, fold the foil inward to secure the hair inside the foil. DO NOT mix body hair and head hair.
Write the Donor ID
Write the Donor ID from the Custody and Control Form on the envelope in the Test Subject ID section.
Place the long bar-coded specimen seal
Place the long bar-coded specimen seal from the Custody and Control form across the bottom of the envelope. Make sure the sticker seals the flap of the envelope securely.
Have the donor read and initial
Have the donor read and initial the first sentence on the envelope, and then date and initial the bar-coded specimen seal next to Subject Initials.
The collector should then read, date, and sign
The collector should then read, date, and sign the second sentence of the envelope, and record the specimen weight, if available.
The donor and collector should both confirm
The donor and collector should both confirm that the Test Subject ID Number on the envelope matches the Donor ID number on the Custody and Control Form, and that the Control Number from the bar-coded sticker on the envelope matches the Control Number at the top of the Custody and Control Form.
Date, sign, and print
Date, sign, and print the collector name on Step 4 of the Custody and Control Form.
Have the donor date, sign, and print
Have the donor date, sign, and print their name on Step 5 of the Custody and Control Form (optional).
In the presence of the donor, place the top copy
In the presence of the donor, place the top copy of the Custody and Control Form inside the outer pocket of the security bag. Place the specimen envelope inside the inner pocket of the security bag and seal the bag. The additional copies of the Custody and Control Form can be distributed at the discretion of the collecting facility.
Place the specimen envelope in an appropriate courier transport overwrap
Place the specimen envelope in an appropriate courier transport overwrap and contact your courier for pick-up.
Client Services

By Phone: 1.800.235.2367

Business Hours (CST)

Monday 6am - 8pm
Tuesday 6am - 8pm
Wednesday 6am - 8pm
Thursday 6am - 8pm
Friday 6am - 8pm

Contact Client Services

Testing Details

Panel Name: Hair Exposure Testing (ChildGuard®)

Panel Description: Hair Exposure Testing (ChildGuard®Drug Panel

Type: Profile

Matrix: Hair

Collection Container: Foil in Secure Envelope

Sample Amount: 100 mg = 200 strands @ 1.5 inches     (We recommend weighing the specimen on a jeweler's scale.)

Storage Conditions: Room Temperature

Transport Conditions: Ambient

Method: Initial screening test with confirmation of presumptive positives

Turn-Around Time: 1 day for negatives / 2-3 days for positives
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How can positive drug or alcohol test results be interpreted? If the quantity of drug or alcohol metabolite detected is high could that be an indication that the donor (1) was consuming a large amount, (2) was using recently, or (3) was using frequently?

There are too many variables for anyone to know time of use, dosage, or frequency from the result(s) of a drug test. Reservoir matrices such as hair, fingernail, umbilical cord, and meconium continuously collect drug and alcohol biomarkers. This makes it difficult to determine specific details of use. Because the biomarker is collected over a period of time, the results represent total accumulation that cannot be pin-pointed to specific times/dates/dosages, etc.

What is Child Hair Testing, and how is it different from regular hair drug tests?

Child Hair and Nail Testing are a modified hair and nail drug tests designed to increase environmental exposure detection in children. The assays are often used by social service agencies involved in custody cases.

Why was one matrix positive and another negative on the same donor?

Different sample matrices have different detection time frames. The result of any second collected specimen has no bearing on the validity of a first collected specimen. For example, a hair sample with a three month window of detection might test positive for a particular substance, while a urine sample from the same donor, with a 2-3 day window of detection, might test negative. In this case, the donor has used that substance within the past three months, but may not have used it within the most recent three days.




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