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    sparrow141's Avatar
    sparrow141 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Jun 13, 2014, 05:07 PM
    Body Spray and ETG create a false positive
    I have been sober for quite a while now and this morning before I went to my weekly treatment meeting, I sprayed myself lightly with Old Spice Body Spray. I had an ETG test (approx. 2 hours later) this morning and now after reading online that it could create a false positive, I can't stop worrying. Should I be worried?
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #2

    Jun 13, 2014, 05:15 PM
    Body spray isn't going to cause a fail... if you fail it will be for something else.
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    JonZupan Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #3

    Aug 7, 2014, 12:57 PM
    Actually it very well COULD cause a positive result, unlike smoothly has suggested. Most body sprays list the ingredient "Alcohol Denat" which is denatured and highly concentrated. Though the amount of alcohol absorbed through the skin from a light spritz of such a body spray would not register in an EtG, it is possible that the alcohol released in to the air from heavy spraying could enter ones lungs and be processed by ones body - which will show up on an EtG test - keep in mind however that most EtG tests have a 500ng cutoff for flagging alcohol consumption. This means that incidental exposure from body sprays, gasoline, hair products (etc) is plausibly eliminated as a cause of the positive result. Basically, to get flagged over 500ng/ml in an EtG test, you either drank or you completely doused yourself in ethanol or took a literal bath in cologne.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #4

    Aug 7, 2014, 02:14 PM
    He asked "false positive". and it would not have been a false positive, it would have been a real positve. If you are subject to ETG testing, you will be under restriction for use of ANY prodicts that contain Alcohol. Any use that is detected is a valid fail... spray it on, drink it or stuff it up your butt. A restriction is a restriction. There is no acceptible excuse to get around a failed test.
    Read the date of the post...they would have had the results of his test back nearly 3 months ago.
    AntC's Avatar
    AntC Posts: 184, Reputation: 19
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    #5

    Aug 7, 2014, 02:24 PM
    With regards to ETG testing, it is considered a "false positive" if the test is positive, but the person did not drink. It is a "false negative" if the person drank, but tested negative. It can be VERY hard, however, to prove you were indeed a "false" positive if you test positive. That is why anyone in a testing program is discouraged from using alcohol based products.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #6

    Aug 7, 2014, 02:27 PM
    Maybe to the person trying to get out of being nbusted... if the test detects it.. and its not supposed to be there, then there is nothing false about it.


    THey would have been ordered to abstain from ALL alcohoil use... and it doesn't matter if they use a turkey baster to put it up their butt, if they drink it or take a bath in it. They would have been doing something they were prohibited from doing.

    If they did what they were ordered to do.....and followed it to the letter ..they would never fail a test.
    AntC's Avatar
    AntC Posts: 184, Reputation: 19
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    #7

    Aug 7, 2014, 02:30 PM
    In most testing programs, the participants are forbidden from using alcohol, but only warned about using alcohol based products such as hand sanitizer or in this case Body Spray. The participant must understand then, that using an alcohol based product is not an excuse for a positive test.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #8

    Aug 7, 2014, 02:37 PM
    Maybe if they have an IQ below 70 they won't grasp the significance ( or maybe if their english isn't very good)... most other smarter people do grasp the meaning of being forbidden to use alcohol means using alcohol period. And they deserve to fail if they do, they just don't take the order seriously enough to listen because they are bound and determined to do what they want at any cost..

    And most learn it as children when trying to get cute when not listening to what their parents told them to do like its up for discussion or open to interpretation.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #9

    Aug 7, 2014, 03:50 PM
    In most testing programs, the participants are forbidden from using alcohol, but only warned about using alcohol based products such as hand sanitizer or in this case Body Spray. The participant must understand then, that using an alcohol based product is not an excuse for a positive test.
    Exactly. Which means that the OP has no excuse if they test positive.

    Positive is positive. You can't say "I didn't know that using hand sanitizer, or a body spray, or taking cough medicine, would give a false positive when I've been clean for months".

    The OP should have been given a list of products to avoid, and a list of ingredients to avoid in products. Obviously the OP knows that this body spray contains alcohol, and could produce a positive result on an ETG. So no excuse.
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    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #10

    Aug 7, 2014, 03:58 PM
    Smoothy, to be fair, it's not always easy to live without products containing alcohol, and unless you're super diligent, you may not notice, or know, that a product has alcohol in it.

    Take cough medicine for example. If you have a severe cough, have had it for days, what do you do? Most people pick up cough medicine at their local pharmacy, over the counter. Most cough medicine contains alcohol. It's almost impossible to find one that doesn't, I say that because I have yet to find one that doesn't. I'm sure they exist, but I haven't found them.

    If you're told not to consume alcohol, but you take cough medicine for a severe cold, should you be dinged for it? I don't think that's fair.

    I have a friend that worked in the health care field. She was required, along with everyone else, to undergo ETG testing as part of her job. She's not a drinker. But, every day, just like all of the other employees, she would use the hand sanitizer that's placed in front of every room in the building she works at. She's a phlebotomist.

    She failed the ETG. Why? Hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer that her employers specified should be used by all employees upon entering any room in the building.

    She did use it excessively, because that was part of her job, and she took blood samples from 30 plus patients a day, using hand sanitizer every time. But the employer themselves didn't take into account that testing for ETG when they're requiring that their employees use hand sanitizer, can produce a false positive for alcohol.

    She didn't lose her job, but she had to go through a lot to keep it and make them understand that this was a false positive, and was a part of her job.

    Having said that, using hand sanitizer because it's part of your job, and your employer is the one testing you, using cough medicine for a few days because you have a cold, is far different than using a body spray because you want to smell nice.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #11

    Aug 7, 2014, 04:12 PM
    Alty, I agree its not easy. It would take a lot of work looking for alcohol free formulations. And it would take an effort to do so by reading labels and asking questions and not grab the first product they see. But it's a lot easier today than it was 5 or 10 years ago. Mostly because of parents demanding alcohol free formulations primarily for their children.

    There are plenty of alcohol free Cough medicines here in the USA...both the store brands and major brands. Maybe they haven't made their way onto the shelfs in Canada to the same extent they have here yet. I haven't been to Canada since long before they came out here.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #12

    Aug 7, 2014, 04:32 PM
    To be fair, most of the times when I, or one of my family (hubby and kids) has a bad cold, we go to the doctor and get a prescription. I've found that most over the counter stuff doesn't work. But, when I have gone to use over the counter, I look at price. If it's on sale, I'm in. But I did do some research a few years ago, and couldn't find any cough medication over the counter without at least a small percent of alcohol in it.

    I like that it has alcohol in it, even for my kids. When they've been up 3 nights in a row because they've been coughing too hard to sleep, if the medication takes away the cough, and helps them sleep, I'm all for it. :)
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5645
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    #13

    Aug 7, 2014, 04:40 PM
    Back on track. This thread is about body sprays, not cough medicine. Most body sprays contain alcohol, as do many other ordinary daily items. The trick is in the labeling and the alcohol is "hidden" on the labels because it is typically labeled by it's chemical name, not it's generic name. That is what makes it hard for the average consumer.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #14

    Aug 7, 2014, 04:46 PM
    True J, and sorry for going off on a tangent.

    My take on this, which is moot since this thread is 3 months old and the OP never came back, but now a newbie posted on it and we're once again in the mix, is that things like hand sanitizer, cough medicine, may be necessary. Body spray isn't, and most body sprays contain alcohol, and should have been put on the list of things to avoid while undergoing ETG testing.

    So the OP should have been aware, before spraying himself down, that this item likely contained alcohol, and should be avoided.

    If the test is positive, the OP would have a hard time convincing the testers that they tested positive because of an unnecessary item like body spray.
    AntC's Avatar
    AntC Posts: 184, Reputation: 19
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    #15

    Aug 9, 2014, 04:22 AM
    This is a good article regarding the flaws of ETG testing.
    A Test for Alcohol -- And Its Flaws - WSJ

    ETG testing certainly is a valuable tool in monitoring for alcohol consumption, but clearly, some people are falsely accused because of it's inherent weaknesses.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
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    #16

    Aug 9, 2014, 07:30 AM
    Yeah, that's a great link. You need to subscribe before you can read it.

    The problem with the MAJORITY of the questions here about false positives is that many people come here looking for an excuse to use as to why they are going to fail after they have been drinking.

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