National Occupational Health Services

[ Occupational Testing | Medical Surveillance | Drug & Alcohol Testing ]

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Hair & Nail Drug Testing

NOHS provides hair follicle and nail drug testing as an alternative to urine drug testing. One major advantage to hair-testing is the fact that there are no proven adulterants. The hair sample is pulverized and analyzed deep inside the follicles shaft, any external contaminates that would alter the outer casing (i.e. Shampoos, dyes, bleaches), do not affect the drug testing analysis. The drugs tested in hair samples are the following: Amphetamines (Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, MDMA and MDA), Opiates (Codeine, Morphine and 6- monoacetylmorphine), Cocaine (and cocaine metabolites), Marijuana (THC and THC Carboxylic Acid metabolite), and PCP. Hair follicles underneath the scalp are surrounded by a dense network of capillary blood vessels. Drugs in the bloodstream are able to incorporate and bind to the hair follicles underneath the scalp. It takes approximately 3-5 days for hair containing drug to reach the outer environment on top of the scalp to be collected based on the average rate of head hair growth. Head hair grows approximately 1.3 cm or ~1/2-inch per month. The standard length of hair tested by the laboratory is the first 3.9 cm or ~1 1/2 inches from the root end. Therefore, a hair analysis of 3.9 cm covers a time span of approximately 90 days, 3-5 days after drug use. Many employers find it useful to test both hair and urine for pre-employment purposes. Urine is useful for a current picture (last 3-5 days except Marijuana which is longer) of possible drug use and hair for an approximate three-month drug history. Drugs get deposited on the nails through the blood stream after they are inhaled or ingested. The drug(s) ingested will undergo metabolism and can generally be identified in the nail tissues 4-6 months after ingestion based on average growth rates. Both hair and nail drug tests are available in 5, 10 and special panels.

Court Cases using Hair Collections Testing

Hair Collections Testing in High Schools
National Occupational Health Services
Mailing Address
6848 East 41st Street
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74145
918-794-4777 (phone) 800-900-6647 (toll-free) 918-794-4777 (fax)