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How Drugs Are Incorporated In Hair

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How Drugs Are Incorporated In Hair

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How Drugs Are Incorporated In Hair

Direct Alcohol Biomarker Testing: Phosphatidylethanol (PEth)


Direct Alcohol Biomarker Testing

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Direct Alcohol Biomarker Testing


What is Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG)?

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What is Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG)?


Alcohol Consumption Infographic

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Alcohol Consumption Infographic


Binge Drinking Among Women in The News

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Last week the CDC released a study that concluded: “Binge drinking is reported by one in eight U.S. adult women and one in five high school girls. Women who binge drink tend to do so frequently and with high intensity. Most high school girls who reported current alcohol use also reported binge drinking.”

This growing trend in “keeping up with the boys” can have long term public health implications. 

CDC: “Implications for Public Health Practice: More widespread implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as those recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, would be expected to reduce the frequency and intensity, and ultimately the prevalence of binge drinking among women and girls, and the harms related to it. “

Phosphatidylethanol (PEth)* is an alcohol biomarker (an evidence based marker) that can detect the difference between binge drinking and steady state use without worry of adulteration, bias, or incidental exposure for as far back as three weeks. The chart below shows the ability to detect drinking behaviors.

Go to to learn more about our BloodSpot™ assay, PEth and other long term alcohol biomarkers.



The Latest USDTL Research

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United States Drug Testing Laboratories, Inc. has an active research department. Our latest scientific paper is on “The Detection of 1-Palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanol and Ethyl Glucuronide in Human Umbilical Cord. ” was published in the American Journal of Analytical Chemistry, 2012, 3, 800-810 doi:10.4236/ajac.2012.312106 Published Online December 2012 ( 

Our research work on alcohol biomarkers can be read at . Look under the News category or search our research library.

Feel free to contact us at 1-800-235-2367 for more information.

Ask the Toxicologist – What do the following results really mean?

Client Question: 


Our program has been monitoring drivers with three or more convictions for DUI using a combination of USDTL BloodSpot™ PEth and EtG in USDTL NailStat®.
One of our participants reports abstinence, but his test results suggest otherwise and can be seen in the chart below.

What do these numbers mean?

EtG Nail Level
PEth Level
Days in Program
160 pg/mg
362 ng/ml
31 pg/mg
0 ng/ml
199 pg/mg
39 ng/ml
63 pg/mg
33 ng/ml


USDTL Toxicologist Answer:

The detection time window for EtG in fingernail is approximately 3 months and the detection time window for PEth in blood spot is approximately 3 weeks.  Neither test will pick up incidental ingestion or social drinking, only binge and heavy drinking.  The baseline figures are elevated as expected from a participant that has been recently convicted of driving while impaired.  It would be expected that this individual had engaged in binge and heavy drinking over the past several weeks and months prior to entering the program.  The EtG and PEth results are consistent with this expectation.

From the time of the baseline test to the second test (11 weeks), the EtG nail levels fell from 160 pg/mg to 31 pg/mg and the PETh dropped from 362 ng/mL to negative.  The best explanation for this observation is that the donor has significantly reduced their drinking and were perhaps abstinent during this period.  The EtG detected in the nail was most likely left over from drinking prior to joining the program.

However, in 18 weeks and 24 weeks after baseline testing  the EtG in fingernail and PEth in blood spot were detected again and reflected new binge and heavy drinking after the second test and after the third test.  There were 5 weeks between the third and fourth test, if the donor had been abstinent after the third test, the PETh would have been negative.  These tests show that the donor relapsed to a steady behavior of binge and heavy drinking after the second test.


Conferences we are attending this month

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USDTL attends upwards of fifty conferences a year. It is our way of supporting the communities we serve and touching base with clients old and new.

The month of October is an extraordinary time for us. We will have personnel at nine conferences.
Starting Tuesday, October 9, Kendyll Vanzandt, Client Services Representative will be in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Amway Grand Hotel for the annual CoLap conference.
Thursday, October 11, Gary Bohl, Forensic Account Executive, will be in Newport Beach for the West Coast Behavioral Health and Addiction Disorders conference.
Saturday, October 13, Douglas Lewis, USDTL President and Scientific Director, and Victoria Lewis Marketing Sales Associate, will be in Washington, D.C. for the ASA meeting.
Monday, October 15, Bob Demaree, Clinical Projects Manager, will be in Florida at the FANNP conference. 
Wednesday, October 17th, Kendyll will be at NANN in Palm Springs and Bob will join her on the 18th.
Thursday, October 18th, Gary will be at TAAP in Houston, TX.
Wednesday, October 24th, Douglas and Victoria Lewis will be at CCLMA in Chicago.
Thursday, October 25th, Gary Bohl will be at his first international show, AMA, CMA, BMA International in Montreal, CA.
Sunday, October 28th, Bob will be at the Fetus and Newborn conference, talking to clients about our CordStat panels.

It’s a busy month. We are proud to serve. If you are at any of these shows, please drop by and say hello.

United States Drug Testing Laboratories, Inc.’s BloodSpot™ Collection Kit
Now Quick and Easy

DES PLAINES, IL (July 16, 2012)-
United States Drug Testing Laboratories (USDTL), a reference laboratory specializing in alcohol and drugs of abuse testing, released a new BloodSpot™ Collection Kit for testing PEth a direct biomarker for beverage alcohol consumption. The kit helps treatment centers, researchers and professional health programs by offering a choice when it comes to sample collection. Previously the blood spots had an hour dry time before they could be sealed and shipped.  USDTL now adds a drying box to the kit for immediate seal and ship.

Blood spot collection is a simple, unadulterable, observed collection for our PEthStat® Assay.

Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) is an abnormal phospholipid formed in cell tissues following alcohol exposure. PEth in blood exists as a component of the red cell membrane. PEth is a mid to long-term alcohol biomarker measurable after engaging in risky alcohol drinking behavior. A positive result is an indication of binge alcohol drinking during the 2-3 weeks prior to the collection of the blood or blood spot.

While ethyl glucuronide (EtG) is a sensitive and valuable assay for those individuals in treatment programs for alcohol abuse, recent studies have indicated that low level positive EtG results can be produced by certain agents like hand sanitizers and mouth wash. The PEthStat assay helps to discriminate between incidental exposure and intentional alcohol ingestion. The volume of alcohol required to trigger a positive PEth result is far above the level commonly attained by incidental exposure. Sample amount is 5 dried blood spots on USDTL-provided filter paper.

 USDTL has been a leader in the drug testing industry since 1991 through research and assay development. The laboratory has an active research program supported, in part, by the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. For more information and a sample kit call Client Services at 800-235-2367.