As a rule of thumb for alcohol testing, think 3/3/3 – three days, three weeks, three months – to determine which test and which window of detection, meets your needs.
Nail & Hair
Indicates multiple occurrences of high alcohol consumption within an average of 3 months of collection
Indicates high alcohol consumption within an average of 3 weeks of collection
Indicates high alcohol consumption within an average of 3 days of collection
The most objective alcohol testing results are accomplished using direct alcohol biomarkers such as phosphatidylethanol (PEth), ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and ethyl sulfate (EtS). PEth, EtG and EtS are direct products of alcohol metabolism. In contrast, indirect biomarkers (e.g. MCV and CDT, among others) indicate physiological effects of alcohol consumption on the body, and can often be confounded by non-alcohol related factors such as disease states, changes in liver function, infection and even pregnancy.
Direct biomarker testing is accomplished in several different specimen types, including alternative matrices such as hair and fingernails. A positive EtG results in fingernail or hair specimens can indicate multiple occurrences (six or more) of high alcohol consumption within up to approximately a three month window of detection.
PEth is detected in dried blood spot and whole blood specimens and can indicate high alcohol consumption within up to approximately three weeks prior to specimen collection.
An EtG/EtS positive result in urine can indicate alcohol consumption within up to approximately three days of specimen collection.
Our services are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For forensic use only.