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.
- 9 Panel
- 7 Panel
- 5 Panel
*Click the green and white plus sign beside each drug class to view the substances within each class.
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.
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/150mg of specimen. If you are not using a gem scale to weigh the specimen (recommended), you do not need to trim the hair to 1.5”. Instead, fold the foil in half and place the root end of the untrimmed hair toward the end of the foil marked root end.
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/150mg of specimen.
By Phone: 1.800.235.2367
Business Hours (CST)
Monday 6am - 8pm
Tuesday 6am - 8pm
Wednesday 6am - 8pm
Thursday 6am - 8pm
Friday 6am - 8pm
Panel Name: Hair Exposure Testing (ChildGuard®)
Panel Description: Hair Exposure Testing (ChildGuard®) Drug PanelType: Profile
Matrix: HairCollection 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
- White Papers
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?
There are several explanations for this.
- 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.
- The result of any second collected specimen has no bearing on the validity of a first collected specimen. Therefore, a negative result observed for the umbilical cord does not refute a positive result observed on the maternal urine specimen and the reverse is true as well. There are many legitimate reasons for discrepant urine and umbilical cord results.
- The urine specimen was a screen only result and was not confirmed using an appropriate mass spectrometric method. The screen only urine result is a clinically valid result, however, without an appropriate mass spectrometric confirmation, the urine result has no value in a forensic proceeding.
- Lastly, some placentas can prevent some compounds from reaching the fetus. There are documented cases of maternal ingestion without in utero exposure.