What Is An Etg Test?


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Greg Allen Profile
Greg Allen answered
An EtG test is a urine test that is used to detect ethyl glucuronide, which will indicate whether the person being tested has recently had alcohol. It is just one of many tests that can be used in this way and is used to monitor alcohol use in a wide range of instances, such as some employments, the justice system and in clinical evaluations when alcohol may be being abused.

Recently, though, there has been come criticism levied at EtG tests because, according to an advisory issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), they are so sensitive they will pick up on exposure to the tiny amounts of alcohol that can be found in some household and personal hygiene products like mouthwash, and so give false readings. These affirmations of alcohol use have even been known to be given days after exposure to a substance.   

These findings came to light through research into the tests after large numbers of people who insisted that they had not had any alcohol made complaints after they had failed the test.

It was discovered that many people were failing an EtG test after being exposed to things such as hand sanitizers, hygiene products, cosmetics, some foods, laundry detergent, antiperspirant, perfume, aftershave and hair sprays; in fact anything that contains ethanol, and that can be absorbed through the skin.

It has also been suggested that gender, age and ethnicity also play a part in determining the outcome of EtG testing, but more research needs to be done in this area to confirm this, and so it is now recommended that although EtG tests can be used to test for alcohol use, they are not to be used as a standalone indicator because they lack ‘sufficient proven specificity’.
Krystal DeLaRosa Profile
An ETG test tests only for the presence of the metabolite of alcohol, ethyl glucuronide. An ETG test can detect ethyl glucuronide for up to 72 hours.

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