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What are Ethyl Glucuronide Urine Tests For?
Before we answer the question “How soon do labs turn around ethyl glucuronide urine tests?”, let's first define what an ethyl glucuronide urine test is. The Ethyl Glucuronide test, or EtG test, is a test performed on urine samples for the presence of ethyl glucuronide, a substance present in the blood after drinking alcohol.
This test is usually done to monitor the alcohol consumption of people who are legally prohibited by the law to drink alcohol. Employers who restrict their employees from drinking alcohol can also request for this test to be conducted. It is a biomarker test that is widely used for documenting alcohol abstinence, detecting relapse in alcohol consumption, screening for drinking problems, evaluating alcohol problem interventions, and motivating drinking behavior changes.
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How is the Test Conducted?
The process of conducting the EtG test usually starts with a chain of custody form being filled out by the subject. This form enumerates certain information about the subject like name, address, age, and reason for having the test done. Since the EtG test result can be used in legal matters, it is often important to have documentation over the entire process of the test.
The person being tested then fills the standard collection cup with his urine. It is often best if the urine is analyzed or processed for testing immediately after it exits the body. The urine sample's temperature is then taken in order to ensure the validity of the sample. If the temperature is not right, the subject will be asked to provide another urine sample.
Once the temperature is deemed valid, the collected urine, which is transferred to another container called the urine syringe device, together the paperwork are then sent or shipped to the laboratory for the actual testing. The reason for doing this is to make the process easier and less expensive than sending the collection cup to the laboratory. It's also cleaner because the sample is stored in a more compact and secure container than the standard collection cup.
Laboratory equipment are used to process and test the urine sample. Gas Spectrometry is the standard technology used in testing urine samples. However, there are emerging technologies that are more accurate in testing urine samples for the presence of ethyl glucuronide like Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry.
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How Soon do Labs Turn Around Ethyl Glucuronide Urine Tests?
The usual turn around time for EtG test results is about 3 days after the urine sample arrives at the laboratory. This time frame may be shortened by the use of more advanced laboratory testing equipment.
Studies have shown that some factors may interfere with the test results. For example, the use of alcohol based sanitizing hand gels may also cause a positive EtG result.