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Adulteration Tests

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Adulteration testing is done to check the quality of a urine specimen.

In drugs of abuse testing, it is important to ensure that the samples are clean and free from adulteration. Diluting a urine sample is probably the most common form of urine adulteration. Tests for adulterants, specific gravity and creatinine can aid in the detection of common methods for defeating urine drug tests including dilution, or adulteration of the sample with bleach, vinegar, Visine, sodium bicarbonate, Drano, soft drinks or hydrogen peroxide. Since tests for adulterants, specific gravity and creatinine detect many of the above common adulterants, some drug users are utilizing commercially available adulterants, including UrinAid, Stealth, Urineluck, Stealth 51, and INSTANT CLEAN ADD-IT-IVE. The active ingredient in UrinAid and other similar products is an aldehyde (glutaraldehyde).

Adulteration is the tampering of a urine specimen with the intention of altering the test results. The use of adulterants can cause false negative results in drug tests by either interfering with the screening test and/ or destroying the drugs present in the urine. Dilution may also be employed in an attempt to produce false negative drug test results. One of the best ways to test for adulteration or dilution is to determine certain urinary characteristics such as creatinine, pH, and specific gravity and to detect the presence of glutaraldehyde, nitrite and oxidants /pyridinium chlorochromate (PCC) in urine.

Creatinine is a waste product of creatine; an amino-acid contained in muscle tissue and found in urine.  A person may attempt to foil a test by drinking excessive amounts of water or diuretics such as herbal teas to “flush” the system. Creatinine and specific gravity are two ways to check for dilution and flushing, which are the most common mechanisms used in an attempt to circumvent drug testing. Low creatinine and specific gravity levels may indicate dilute urine. The absence of creatinine (<5mg/dl) is indicative of a specimen not consistent with human urine.

Specific gravity tests for sample dilution. The normal range is from 1.003 to 1.030. Values outside this range may be the result of specimen dilution or adulteration.

Nitrite tests for commonly used commercial adulterants such as Klear or Whizzies. They work by oxidizing the major cannabinoid metabolite THC-COOH.  Normal urine should contain no trace of nitrite. Positive results generally indicate the presence of an adulterant.

Glutaraldehyde tests for the presence of an aldehyde. Adulterants such as UrinAid and Clear Choice contain glutaraldehyde which may cause false negative screening results by disrupting the enzyme used in some immunoassay tests.³ Glutaraldehyde is not normally found in urine; therefore, detection of glutaraldehyde in a urine specimen is generally an indicator of adulteration.

pH tests for the presence of acidic or alkaline adulterants in urine. Normal pH levels should be in the range of 4.0 to 9.0. Values outside of this range may indicate the sample has been altered. Oxidants/PCC (Pyridinium Chlorochromate) tests for the presence of oxidizing agents such as bleach and hydrogen peroxide. Pyridinium chlorochromate (sold under the brand name UrineLuck) is a commonly used adulterant.³ Normal human urine should not contain oxidants or PCC.

 

Directions for Using Adulteration Test Strips

Remove the test strips from the closed product tube and use it promptly. Close the product tube tightly after taking out the test strip. Store product tube away from light.

Completely immerse the reagent area of the strip in the urine sample and promptly remove the strip.

Hold the strip in a horizontal position and put it against a paper towel.

Read the results in 1 minute by comparing it to the color chart. Do not read the results after 4 minutes.

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