DOT proposes drug test changes

Jill Dunn | February 17, 2010

drug-testing-TN[2]The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed amending provisions of its urine drug testing procedures, included testing for lower amounts of amphetamines and cocaine.

Some proposals will apply to collectors and medical review officers and are meant to create consistency with new requirements established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The proposal would allow DOT employers to choose between a full service laboratory and Instrumented Initial Test Facilities.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking makes changes to some confirmatory and initial drug tests. The confirmatory drug test is a second analytical procedure performed on a different portion of the sample. An initial drug test differentiates a negative specimen from one requiring further testing for drugs.

The NPRM outlines adopting other HHS lab testing procedures, including:
• Conducting initial and confirmatory testing for ecstasy.
• Conducting initial testing for 6-Acetylmorphines, an intermediate metabolite between heroin and morphine.
• Lowering the initial test and confirmatory test cutoff concentrations for amphetamines and cocaine.

HHS has estimated there may be 10 percent more users of amphetamine and cocaine identified using the lowered cutoffs

Comments on the proposal should be submitted by April 5 and late-filed comments may be considered. Comments must include the Docket OST-2010-0026 or RIN 2105-AD95 for identification and may be submitted by the following means:
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
• Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, West Building Ground Floor Room W12-140, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001.

The Federal Register notice may be read in full at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-2315.htm.

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