With EtG Testing, What is The Difference Between Urine Alcohol Testing and Hair Alcohol Testing?

Published: 02nd April 2009
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Ethyl glucuronide or EtG is a metabolite only produced when alcohol is in the bloodstream. It is identified as a marker in alcohol hair testing, through a patented analytical process that provides forensic evidence of the pattern of alcohol abuse - or absence of it.

EtG, (ethyl glucuronide) alcohol testing is a relatively new way to test someone for alcohol in their blood. The big deal behind EtG testing is being able to test for alcohol in a person's blood, long after a person has consumed it. Because drugs are easier to detect longer after they have been consumed verses the rapid dissipation of alcohol consumption, EtG alcohol testing is an exciting advancement in alcohol testing.

EtG hair drug testing has been around for a little while, but EtG hair alcohol testing and EtG urine alcohol testing is fairly recent. So what is the difference between the two?

The more alcohol a person consumes the greater amount of EtG markers are present in the hair. EtG alcohol testing is unique compared to other alcohol tests in that it allows you to segment testing results into months instead of only days, if you were to test for urine alcohol testing. Only EtG alcohol testing in hair can prove month to month activity- with urine alcohol testing, evaporation, dilution and other factors are the concern for testers to accurately account for blood alcohol concentrations.

According to Alliance for Worldwide Alcohol Research and Education, 5-10% of ingested alcohol is excreted unchanged in urine, sweat, and expired air. The remainder is turned into carbon dioxide and water. For example, a shot of 80 proof alcohol, a 4 ounce glass of wine or 12 ounces of beer will be completely cleared from the body in approximately 1.75-3.5 hours. With EtG hair alcohol testing, a tester can fully calculate a person's accurate blood alcohol concentration weeks after the person consumed alcohol.

EtG lasts for up to five days in urine, and confirms beyond all doubt that someone has had a drink in that time. The presence of EtG in EtG alcohol testing through hair alcohol testing now shows whether drivers or workers who have been involved in an accident last week, were drunk at the time, even if they are not tested until a month later.

Features of EtG alcohol testing

• Identify long-term alcohol addicts, offer help and improve treatment success rate-- an alcoholic's treatment can be monitored periodically as their hair grows

• Prove a parent is fit to have custody of their children because they show no signs of abuse.

• Identify an alcohol abuser in a safety critical job before you hire them.

• Prove someone does not have an alcohol problem and is fit to lead for a position in public office, for example.

• Prove someone is long-term abstinent and a suitable candidate for a liver transplant

When it comes to advances in drug and alcohol testing technologies, there is a growing need for this its uses. And just as importantly, the need for hair alcohol testing to prove a history of alcohol abuse is just as necessary to disprove any abuse.

About the Author:

Melissa Peterman is a web content specialist for Innuity. For more information regarding EtG alcohol testing go to Trimega Laboratories.

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