Can hand sanitizer usage lead to a false positive on drug testing? 

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jraineharrison | College Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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A study appeared in the March 2011 edition of the Journal of Analytical Toxicology.  This study indicated that the use of hand sanitizer may create a false positive in drug testing for alcohol usage.  In this article, it was found that certain types of hand sanitizer may cause ethy glucuronide and ethyl sulfate to be present in drug testing at a level up to 2000 ng/mL.  These results were still markedly less than the baseline for a positive drug test of 20 mg/dL.  

Although this study may suggest that hand sanitizer causes false positives, the control group was very small.  Only 11 individuals were involved in the research study.  Moreover, the group was not well controlled, i.e sequestered, to ensure that other factors did not affect the findings.  The study should be expanded to a considerably larger group to accurately determine if hand sanitizer does lead to false positives.  

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