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Infant Drug Tests For Marijuana Are Unreliable: Researchers

Posted on  August 20, 2012 by  News Admin

 Women in many states have gotten in deep legal trouble -- including losing custody of their kids -- after showing up positive for marijuana on hospital drug tests. But the most commonly used methods for detecting cannabis exposure are unreliable when used on infants, and "should not be reported" without more tests and followup by hospital staff and social workers, according to a new study recently published in the journal Clinical Chemistry. While infant drug tests are commonly used across the United States, it's often done only in cases where the mother has some history of substance use, reports Stephen C. Webster at The Raw Story. Positive results for marijuana on the immunoassay drug test are often followed by a more targeted THC test to confirm the results.  But scientists with the University of Utah found that even the more targeted THC assay tests -- the ones used for confirming results -- show a "significantly higher" rate of false-positive results with infants. Research published earlier this year found that many different soaps and household products, including baby shampoo, can cause false positives in immunoassay tests. This follow-up study tried to determine what's behind the higher rates of false positives for infants. The study doesn't even touch the subject of whether non-pot-smoking parents have unjustly lost custody of their babies due to false positive drug test results. But it does greatly damage the view that THC assay testing is a reliable method of detecting cannabis use. According to the researchers, infant urine analysis results that show...