Hair Testing May be Biased, Ineffective

A new bill – The Drug Free Commercial Truck Driver Act of 2015 – would allow the Department of Transportation (DOT) to authorize hair testing instead of urinalysis to test drivers for drug use, but, although it enjoys bipartisan co-sponsors and support from the American Trucking Assns., critics say hair testing could give incorrect readings for specific groups of people. More specifically, it’s the way the body metabolizes certain drugs and hair testing’s inability to indicate current use or recent impairment that is under fire, according to Dr. Kent Peterson, president of Charlottesville, Virginia Occupational Health Strategies and Former Exec. Vice President of American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM), past President of American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), and co-founder and board member of Medical Review Officer Certification Council. Also of concern is the way in which various types of hair deposit pigments in their hair shaft, with curly hair and persons of color more likely to test positive.

 

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Post By Ken Shafton (2,372 Posts)