6th December 2016
Hair testing has been used as common practice for years in relation to drug and alcohol testing. Many don’t realise that there could be a more convenient and reliable alternative in nail testing.
Does your client have minimal body hair and need to provide a significant overview of drug use? Has your client bleached their hair therefore affecting the results? Does your client feel uncomfortable with having their hair cut for drug and/or alcohol testing?
DNA Legal has been offering nail testing as an alternative to hair testing for over 10 years due to its reliability. Nails include Keratin, which is the protein which traps the alcohol and drugs in the body as they grow.
On average, nails are approximately 400 microns thick, four time thicker than the average strand of hair, meaning you are able to capture more of a substance than within hair. As the nails grow, metabolites build up in the nail at the germinal matrix, and along the nail bed, allowing it to collect the full history of drug and/or alcohol use.
Analytes incorporate the nail matrix through two different pathways:
- Drugs and analytes including metabolites pass from blood vessels of the germinal matrix at the proximal end of the nail.
- Drugs and analytes can also incorporate to the nail fibres through the blood vessels located directly below the nail into the keratin fibres where they are exposed.
An advantage of using nails to test for drug and/or alcohol abuse is that there is no issue of metabolite washout due to common cosmetic treatments, such as bleaches and dyes.
Nail testing also comes with generous detection windows with a 3-6 month outlook through the use of fingernails and 6-12 months outlook with the use of toenails. The reason that toenails give a much wider outlook of their history of abuse, is because they grow at a much slower rate than fingernails.
In some cases, we’re able to take a minimum of 5 nails. However this is dependent on the length of each individual client's nails and will be ultimately, the collector's decision.
We really do the best nails in town, and we carry the answers to your clients who have limited head and body hair.
For more information on nail testing, or any other types of test which DNA Legal can offer speak to our team on 0203 4243 470.
Alternatively, you can request a free nail file by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org