Child Hair Resources
Child Hair Resources
To view the Hair Exposure Testing (ChildGuard®) Panels and Collection Instructions, click here.
Child Hair Videos
Hair Collection Training Video
Child Hair Infographics
USDTL Child Hair Test In the News
Child Hair Articles
On The Level 01-Aug-2017
Quantity Not Sufficient 11-Nov-2016
High Yield Determinations 01-Dec-2015
The Shelter of the Law 01-Dec-2015
Hair Ethyl Glucuronide: Uses and Implications 01-Apr-2013
USDTL Child Hair Research
Child Hair Poster Presentations
Detection of Trace Buprenorphine and Norbuprenorphine in Human Hair Using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)
USDTL Assisted Child Hair Research
Foundational Child Hair Research
Child Hair Announcements
Child Hair 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 a second test of a different specimen type be used to prove that a previously taken test was inaccurate?
No. The results of any second collected specimen have absolutely no bearing on the validity of the results of the first collected specimen. Furthermore, each matrix has its own advantages, disadvantages and limits of interpretation.
Can a hair test determine how much or how often someone is using a drug?
No. Hair is a reservoir matrix, where drugs can collect and/or degrade over time. When testing any reservoir matrix, you are unable to back-track and determine time, dosage or frequency because there are simply too many variables involved.
Can someone test positive in hair because of passive or environmental exposure?
Yes, drugs are incorporated into hair by three major routes: environmental exposure, sweat and sebum from the scalp and blood flow through the follicle. Environmental exposure however will only generate a positive for the parent drug. Example: methamphetamine only. The other two mechanisms lay down drug and drug metabolites. Example: amphetamine/methamphetamine positive.
Does race make a difference in hair testing results?
Hair color, not race, is one of the most important variables in determining the quantity of drug found in the hair. Dark hair binds drug tighter than light hair.
Does the sample need to be frozen?
No, the sample may be shipped ambient.
Have results been used in court cases?
Yes, the analysis of a number of tissue types for the presence of drugs of abuse has been used in every state for decades. Specifically, our umbilical cord testing has been used to provide evidence of drug use by the mother in numerous states. Additionally, the detection of drug in umbilical cord was used as evidence of maternal drug consumption in a murder case in South Carolina and that interpretation was upheld on appeal to the SC Supreme Court.
How long can drugs be detected in head hair?
Once a drug is incorporated into hair, it begins to slowly leach out due to normal daily hygiene and exposure to the elements. Most drugs have disappeared by three months. Furthermore, the laboratory only analyzes the first 1.5 inches (3.9 centimeters) nearest the scalp. Hair grows at an average rate of 0.5 inches per month.
Why are both ethyl sulfate (EtS) and ethyl glucuronide (EtG) included in urine testing for alcohol use, but only EtG in fingernail or hair testing?
A: For urine testing, it is standard practice in the field of toxicology to include both EtS and EtG, because EtG is subject to bacterial production and degradation if a urine sample is contaminated (e.g. when the donor has a urinary tract infection). EtS is not subject to bacterial production or degradation, and provides a second, more reliable alcohol biomarker in these urine contamination scenarios. Other specimens types, such as fingernails and hair, do not have this issue, so only EtG is measured in those sample types.
What does a positive hair test result mean?
The only interpretation that can come from a positive hair test is that the individual used or was exposed to drug during the three months prior to collection.
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 do we test for EtG in hair and not FAEE?
FAEE is less sensitive and can produce false positives. Hairspray and other hair products can produce FAEEs in hair. There is no enzyme in our hair that can create ETG from those products.