Gateway Drug Screening

Nail Follicle Testing

Hair or Nail Follicle TestingHighly stable, simple to collect, and easy to ship and store, fingernails provide a test sample that is at the cutting edge of drug and alcohol testing.

Fingernails/Toenails are made up of keratin, the same material that hair is made of. Fingernails are four times thicker than the typical strand of hair and often capture more of a substance than hair can. Biomarkers become locked in keratin fibers along the entire length of the nail, and can be detected up to 3-6 months after drug or alcohol abuse. Environmental exposure to illicit substances can be detected immediately in nail samples.

The time period during which drug or alcohol ingestion can be detected depends on the substance used, the amount used, and personal metabolism. Fingernail samples are clipped and collected by the donor in front of a trained collection staff member. A clipping of 2-3 mm long (about the width of a quarter) from all ten fingernails will give about 100 mg of sample, the ideal amount for screening and confirmation. Negative results are reported within 24 hours of receipt at the laboratory, and positive results are confirmed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) within 48 to 72 hours.

Drug Test Panels range from 5 to 15 different drugs.  Contact us at 636-583-2055 for further panel information.