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Cotinine Detection in Hair and Nail Specimens

Long-term detection of the nicotine biomarker cotinine is now available in hair and fingernail specimens. This test was created to determine donor exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and can be added to any hair or nail test panel or ordered as a stand-alone test.

Traditionally, the most common way to test for tobacco smoke exposure is through urine, blood, or saliva specimens, giving a shorter lookback window of the past few days. Hair and fingernail testing have a detection window showing a history of exposure up to approximately 3 months.

To learn more, please reference the NIH article below. It is a great review of the many studies on nicotine and/or cotinine detection in hair.

Hair as a Biomarker for Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1759008/pdf/v011p00176.pdf

At this time, cotinine and assays 15-panel and above are not available for specimens originating from the State of New York.


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