Monday, September 8, 2008

Union Against Drug Testing ?

Source: September 6, 2008, Charleston Gazzette

MSHA: Test coal miners for drugs and alcohol

The White House administration will propose a rule early next week to require drug testing of miners who work in "safety sensitive" jobs in the nation's coal and non-coal mines.

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration ( MSHA ) officials are pushing for speedy approval of the rule, offering the mining community and the public a tight 30-day comment period - less than half the time provided for two other rules proposed by MSHA this year.

"An alcohol- and drug-free mine program as proposed in this rule will contribute to the prevention of such incidents and provide all miners, regardless of what state they work in and the size of the mine they work for, equal safety protection from working alongside miners under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs on the job,"
MSHA said in a proposal scheduled to be published in Monday's Federal Register.

The proposed rule would replace existing standards for drugs and alcohol at metal and non-metal mines with an industry-wide rule that also covers coal operations.

It would designate certain substances - alcohol and a list of controlled substances - that could not be possessed on mine property or used while performing safety-sensitive job duties, unless they were being used according to a valid prescription.

Mine operators would be required to establish an alcohol- and drug-free program, including a written policy, employee education, supervisory training and drug testing for miners in safety-sensitive jobs and their supervisors. Safety-sensitive job duties are defined as "any type of work activity where a momentary lapse of critical concentration could result in an accident, injury or death."

Company policies also must include treatment referrals for miners who violate the policy. The proposed rule also would require those who violate the prohibitions to be removed from the performance of job-sensitive duties until they complete recommended treatment and their alcohol- and drug-free status is confirmed by testing.

"Mining under the best of circumstances can be dangerous," said MSHA chief Richard Stickler, "and the use of alcohol and illegal substances creates additional, unnecessary hazards in the workplace."

MSHA's Federal Register notice did not include any mention of a public hearing on the proposal.

Department of Labor spokesman David James said the agency anticipates receiving a request for a hearing and that MSHA "is preparing to do" such a hearing.

"There will likely be a notice for public hearing published sometime during the public comment period," James said.

Coal industry officials have long sought an MSHA rule to require drug testing of miners, but the United Mine Workers union has questioned the need for such testing and worried about the specifics of how companies would carry out such testing.

Kentucky adopted its own drug-testing program for miners in 2006, and Virginia passed similar rules in 2007. West Virginia has declined to adopt drug-testing requirements for coal miners.

In October 2005, MSHA announced that it was working on such a rule, but after a string of mine disasters in 2006 and 2007, the drug-testing proposal appeared to have been put on the back burner as the agency scrambled to enact numerous safety reforms mandated by Congress.

Then, in early June, MSHA officials submitted their proposed rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for its review. The OMB approved the proposal late last week, records show.

In its proposed rule notice, MSHA said
"a preliminary review of fatal and non-fatal mine accident records revealed a number of instances in which alcohol and drugs or drug paraphernalia were found or reported, or where the post-accident toxicology screen revealed the presence of alcohol or drugs."

MSHA cited a study that showed
more than 13 percent of full-time miners were heavy alcohol users and 7 percent admitted that they had used illicit drugs within the past month.

"Using alcohol and/or drugs can affect a miner's coordination and judgment significantly at a time when he or she needs to be alert, aware and capable of performing tasks where there is a substantial risk of injury to oneself or others," the MSHA notice said.
"Even prescription medications may affect a miner's perception and reaction time. Mining is a complicated and hazardous occupation, and a clear focus on the work at hand is a crucial component of mine safety."

During a previous comment period, UMW officials questioned whether MSHA had shown the need for a nationwide drug-testing program.

MSHA responded, "Although a subsequent internal [Department of Labor] review of accident reports failed to reveal a significant number of cases where alcohol or drugs were determined to be causative factors, it did reveal a lack of consistency in whether and how alcohol and drug tests are performed and in the investigative process used to determine whether alcohol or drugs may have been factors.

"In fact, currently accident investigations do not routinely include an inquiry into the use of alcohol or drugs and this is a failure that the proposed rule intends to address," MSHA said.

MSHA estimated that the drug-testing rule would cost the mining industry $16 million during its first year and $13 million every year after that.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

At Least One Union Group Sees the Light On Drug Testing

Source: 2008 - August - Casino City - Las Vegas Gaming Wire

(Note: Drug Testing, including Random Drug testing is legal in all 50 States, despite political attempts to distort this fact. Furthermore, oral fluid-based on-site drug screening is the only feasible, cost-effective, and accurate method to conduct random testing at construction site. Oral fluid sceening can be directly observed, preventing the prevalent practice of drug abuser adulterating or substituting urine-based testing, and corporate security staff can administer the tests vs. relying upon $8-$10/hr third party collection personnel and sites with transient workers. Furthermore, leading on-site oral fluid tests screen for drugs commony found today on construction sites such as oxcodone and hydrocodone - tranditional NIDA-5 and/or SAMHSA-5 tests do not. )

Union rep in favor of drug test
11 August 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Building contractors should be given authority to conduct random drug and alcohol tests of construction workers, either through legislation or through negotiations with unions, a spokesman for a construction trades group said a day after three union members were fired for entering the CityCenter job site after drinking at nearby bars.

Steve Holloway, executive vice president of the Las Vegas chapter of the Associated General Contractors, said Friday that the number of construction workers who are drinking on the job represents a small fraction of the total work force on the site.

However, "it's a large enough minority that it needs to be dealt with, probably by legislation that would allow a construction contractor to perform random drug and alcohol testing," he said.

Holloway is a member of an eight-person task force that was set up in the wake of a series of 12 construction worker deaths at Strip sites in the past 18 months. The committee is looking at possible legislation to be considered by the 2009 Legislature.

Holloway said none of the union contracts now in effect locally allow for random testing of construction workers. (NOTE: UNIONS, OWNERS, INSURERS & CONTRACTORS NEED TO ACT NOW TO ALLOW AND IMPLEMENT RANDOM TESTING VIA ALL SPECIMEN TYPES)

"That needs to be changed by statute, or by negotiations with the union," he said. "It should probably be by statute because we have just as many nonunion workers as we do union."


Another member of the committee, state Assemblyman John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said he would not support giving employers "unfettered abilities" to randomly drug test employees because that would infringe on the individuals' rights. (NOTE- A PERSONAL OPINION VS. FACT)

A company should need to show there is "some indication" a worker is impaired by drugs or alcohol before it could demand a test, the state Assembly's majority leader said. (NOTE-THIS IS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE LACK OF EDUCATION ON THE TOPIC OF SUBSTANCE MISUSE-VISUAL OBSERVATION FAILS OVER 90% OF THE TIME TO DETECT SUBSTANCE MISUSE-ONLY RANDOM DRUG TESTING PROVIDES THE REQUISITE LEVEL OF DETERENCE AND DECTECTION).

Committee member and state Sen. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, sided with Oceguera in expressing concern over individual rights.

Existing union contracts already say companies can request a drug or alcohol test if an employee displays erratic behavior or is slurring speech, a union official said. Most of the current agreements also let employers demand tests before someone is hired or if they are involved in an accident.

Other committee members, Clark County commissioners Chris Giunchigliani and Rory Reid, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and state Senate Minority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, did not return calls for comment. Trades Council President Rick Johnson also is on the committee.

The committee will probably reconvene in late August or early September and begin drafting a bill for next year, Holloway said.

The committee members' comments come two days after the Review-Journal reported that it had photographed 10 construction workers drinking at Strip bars before they went on to the CityCenter work site, a violation of rules set by the general contract, its subcontractors and the unions.

Dozens of additional workers were seen drinking alcohol outside convenience stores and inside bars, but they were identified as being off for the day.

On Thursday, three ironworkers members who were photographed returning to the job site were identified and fired by general contractor Perini Corp.

Perini officials said they have not identified any other workers yet, but the company will continue its investigation next week, said Doug Mure, Perini's vice president of human resources and risk management.

Chuck Lenhart, business agent for Ironworkers Local 433, said he met Friday with one of the disciplined workers, who admitted his behavior was inappropriate.

"When I spoke to one of them this morning, he got it," said Lenhart, who declined to give the workers' names or to describe their jobs. "He understood and I believe he is going to get some help."

Lenhart said the fired workers will need to go through counseling, at the union's expense, before they can be cleared to work on other jobs -- in two or three months, at the earliest. The workers won't be reassigned to another job site until they are cleared by a counselor, he added. (NOTE: AN EXCELLENT APPROACH BY THE UNION - SUPPORT, YET MONITOR)

However, each case is different and, if the workers have any prior disciplinary action on their records, they could be removed from the union.

But that is not a step the union wants to take, he said.

"When there is somebody that may have a problem they're not out the door," said Lenhart, who noted the Ironworkers local also screens workers before they join the union.

"We try to get help for them. Some people accept it and some people don't."

However, the responsibility ultimately lies with the individual worker to do the right thing for themselves and the workers around them. (NOTE: TRUE-HOWEVER, IN VIRTUALLY ALL CASES ABUSERS WILL NOT SEEK ASSISTANCE ON THERE OWN UNLESS DETECTED, OR AN INCIDENT OCCURS)

"They have free will and they can make their choices," Lenhart said. "Sometimes, they make bad choices. That's what I'm concerned about in this industry: When you have people who make these types of choices to (drink alcohol before work), there's a possibility of them hurting someone else on the job site."

Perini plans to look at what the company can do to control alcohol problems on its job site, although Mure said: "Our focus right now is the immediate identification (of the workers in the photos)."

The Perini executive did dismiss one rumor that went around the job site Thursday suggesting the company planned to "close" the job site so workers could not leave during lunch.

Mure said trying to close the 77-acre construction site, which employs 7,700 workers, would be impractical.

"That's not even really feasible on a project like CityCenter or any of the major construction projects in Las Vegas," he said. "Rumors are rumors. You've seen the site, it isn't something that could even be considered."

New Oral Fluid Technology for Cancer Detection

Source: ZD Net

Sensors to detect oral cancer in saliva
Posted by Roland Piquepaille @ 10:10 am

Categories: Health & Medicine, Engineering & Innovation

Tags: University Of California At Los Angeles, Team, Researcher, Protein, Sensor, Molecule, Cancer, Protein Sensor, Dr Wong, Team Management

1 TalkBackPrintEmailThumbs UpThumbs Down+22
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), there will be about 35,000 new cases of oral cancer in the U.S. this year. The ACS also estimates that ‘when oral cancer is identified in its early stages, patient survival rate is almost 90 percent, compared with 50 percent when the disease is advanced.’ This is why a team of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers supported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) has developed a very sensitive optical salivary sensor. Clinical tests should start soon. A simple and fast saliva test in your dentist office might one day replace blood tests and even biopsies. But read more…

You can see on the left “Leyla Sabet, a member of the UCLA research team that built the new optical protein sensor, sits in front of the device. Based on a confocal microscope, the ultrasensitive system is being used by the researchers to detect biomarkers in saliva samples that are linked to oral cancer.” (Credit: UCLA, via MIT’s Technology Review)

This sensor has been developed by Chih-Ming Ho, a professor of engineering at UCLA and several colleagues of the UCLA Micro Systems Laboratories, including researchers Leyla Sabet and Winny Tan. David Wong, professor of oral biology, and several members of his lab were also involved in this project.

According to the NIH news release, “the sensor can be integrated into a specially designed lab-on-a-chip, or microchip assay, and preprogrammed to bind a specific protein of interest, generating a sustained fluorescent signal as the molecules attach. A microscope then reads the intensity of the fluorescent light — a measure of the protein’s cumulative concentration in the saliva sample — and scientists gauge whether it corresponds with levels linked to developing disease.”

And is this optical sensor successful? “In their initial experiments, the scientists primed the optical protein sensor to detect the IL-8 protein, which at higher than normal concentration in saliva is linked to oral cancer. Using saliva samples from 20 people — half healthy, the others diagnosed with oral cancer — the sensor correctly distinguished in all cases between health and disease. Importantly, the sensor achieved a limit of detection for IL-8 that is roughly 100 times more sensitive than today’s blood-based Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA) tests, the standard technique to measure protein in bodily fluid.”

Now, let’s turn to a Technology Review article, “Spit Sensor Spots Oral Cancer” (Brittany Sauser, August 6, 2008) to learn why it has been difficult to detect oral cancer biomarkers in saliva.”Protein markers are harder to spot in saliva than in blood. To create the ultrasensitive sensor, researchers started with a glass substrate coated with a protein called streptavidin that enables other biomolecules to bind to the substrate and to one another. The researchers then added a molecule that would catch and bind the cancer biomarker — a protein in saliva called IL-8 that previous research has proved to be related to oral cancer. They also added molecules designed to keep the glass surface free of other proteins that might muddy detection of the biomarker. To visualize the target molecules, Ho’s team then added a set of fluorescently tagged proteins designed to attach to the captured IL-8 markers.”

And what was Ho’s team next step? “Because saliva has a lower concentration of proteins than blood does, the team needed a highly sensitive method to detect the tagged proteins among the background noise, stray molecules in saliva that also fluoresce. So the researchers used a confocal microscope — an imaging system that employs a laser to collect the light generated from a sample — to analyze the saliva. Ho and his team found that focusing the laser light on a specific part of the sample resulted in a lower signal-to-noise ratio, allowing them to detect lower concentrations of the cancer biomarker. Indeed, Ho says, the device is 100 times more sensitive than the standard protein-detection technique, ELISA.”

This research work has been published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics under the title “Optical protein sensor for detecting cancer markers in saliva” (Volume 24, Issue 2, 15 October 2008, Pages 266-271). Here is a quote from the abstract. “The ultra sensitive optical protein sensor presented in this paper has a wide number of applications in disease diagnoses. Measurements for detecting biomarkers in clinical sample are much more challenging than the measurements in buffer, due to high background noise contributed by large collections of non-target molecules. We used clinical saliva samples to validate the functionality of the optical protein sensor. Clinical detection of disease-specific biomarkers in saliva offers a non-invasive, alternative approach to using blood or urine.”

If you’re interested by this subject, you also should read a very good article coming from an unusual source, “On the tip of your tongue” by Anne-Marie McQueen (The National, United Arab Emirates, July 26, 2008). This article is more focused on David Wong’s research. “He and his team have already developed a saliva test for oral cancer and Sjogren’s Syndrome, a systemic disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the glands that produce saliva and tears. Dr Wong says they have promising early evidence that it will be possible – perhaps even within five years – to use saliva to detect biomarkers for more systemic diseases, like breast, lung and pancreatic cancers, as well as diabetes.”

And even if you like needles — which I don’t — “the benefits of saliva testing versus blood sampling or more invasive diagnostic tests are many, says Dr Wong. Saliva testing is easier, safer and less intrusive. Since its testing does not require specially trained personnel, there is no risk of exposing anyone to blood-born diseases. Also, oral fluids do not clot like blood, so they not require the same level of manipulation.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More Trouble with DOT Drug Testing

Problems with urine-base DOT drug testing continue.... 2008

GAO: Truck drivers taking illegal drugs get hired

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tractor-trailer and bus drivers who tested positive for illegal drugs have flouted federal regulations by returning to work without the required treatment, in some cases transporting hazardous materials for many months, congressional investigators say.

The study by the Government Accountability Office, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, is the latest to detail problems involving unfit commercial drivers who can operate vehicles weighing 40 tons or more.
The GAO found that 19 out of 37 commercial drivers who had a positive drug test in the last two years were hired elsewhere less than a month later — keeping quiet about their previous test result.

These tractor-trailer or bus drivers, who had tested positive for cocaine, amphetamines or marijuana, passed a new pre-employment drug test either by quickly going clean or using products such as synthetic urine to mask drug use. They subsequently operated commercial vehicles for periods ranging from one month to over a year, GAO said.

Transportation Department regulations require that prospective employers request drug-testing records — with the commercial driver's consent — from previous employers. But because some drivers testing positive do not go through treatment and do not disclose test results, the new company might not be aware of drug use if it does not vigorously investigate.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led by Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., is currently looking at ways to help get unfit commercial drivers off the nation's highways. One proposal would create a clearinghouse for drug test results for commercial truck drivers to make it easier for employers to conduct checks.

Some cases cited by GAO:

_A Tennessee truck driver tested positive for cocaine in May 2007. He moved to a different employer and was rehired after passing a new test eight days later. Prior to his tests, the driver was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He worked for several months afterward, driving trucks containing cargo and hazardous material.

_An Oklahoma truck driver tested positive for marijuana in October 2007 and passed a subsequent test with another company nine days later. The driver told investigators he "took appropriate measures to clean his system before applying at the second employer." The new employer said it was unaware of the prior drug test during the hiring and let him drive for a couple of months, but that he was now no longer working for the company.

The latest review comes after a GAO safety study disclosed by the AP earlier this month found hundreds of thousands of drivers carry commercial licenses even though they also qualify for full federal disability payments
. According to that report, 563,000 commercial drivers were determined by the Veterans Affairs Department, Labor Department or Social Security Administration to be eligible for benefits over health issues, with alarming examples that raised doubts about the safety of the nation's highways.

Last week, lawmakers in the House scolded federal regulators for failing to implement recommendations made in 2001 that are aimed at keeping medically unfit commercial truck and bus drivers off the roads.

In the latest GAO study, investigators looked at data from a third-party administrator for commercial drivers who had tested positive for illegal drugs with one employer and then negative for another employer. The GAO then identified cases from the past two years where drivers had tested negative less than a month after a positive result.

On the Net:
Government Accountability Office:
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Prescription Pain Relievers - Deaths from Misuse Dramatically

Source: CNN 2008

Home deaths from drug errors soar
Deaths from medication errors at home are up dramatically in last 20 years

Increase steepest in death rates from mixing meds, alcohol, street drugs at home

Researchers cite dramatic rise in home use of prescription painkillers

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Deaths from medication mistakes at home, such as actor Heath Ledger's accidental overdose, rose dramatically during the past two decades, an analysis of U.S. death certificates finds.

Prescription drug abuse plays a role in the rise in fatalities, but it's unclear how much, researchers said.

The authors blame soaring home use of prescription painkillers and other potent drugs, which 25 years ago were given mainly inside hospitals.

"The amount of medical supervision is going down and the amount of responsibility put on the patient's shoulders is going up," said lead author David P. Phillips of the University of California, San Diego.

The findings, based on nearly 50 million U.S. death certificates, are published in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine. Of those, more than 224,000 involved fatal medication errors, including overdoses and mixing prescription drugs with alcohol or street drugs.

Deaths from medication mistakes at home increased from 1,132 deaths in 1983 to 12,426in 2004. Adjusted for population growth, that amounts to an increase of more than 700percent during that time.

In contrast, there was only a 5 percent increase in fatal medication errors away from home, including hospitals, and not involving alcohol or street drugs.

Abuse of prescription drugs plays a role, but it's unclear how much. Valid prescriptions taken in error, especially narcotics such as methadone and oxycodone, account for a growing number of deaths, said experts who reviewed the study.

The increases coincided with changing attitudes about painkillers among doctors who now regard pain management as a key to healing. Multiple prescription drugs taken at once -- like the sleeping pills, painkillers and anxiety drugs that killed "Dark Knight" star Ledger -- also play a part, experts said.

"When we see overdoses, we're seeing many more mixed drug overdoses," said Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners and director of autopsies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Jentzen said autopsies are much more likely to include toxicology tests today than 25 years ago, which would contribute to finding more fatal medication errors as cause of death.

But Phillips said there were no significant increases in other poisonings, such as suicidal overdoses or homicides, so more testing doesn't explain the huge increase. The analysis excluded suicides, homicides and deaths related to side effects.

The increase was steepest in death rates from mixing medicine with alcohol or street drugs at home; that death rate climbed from 0.04 per 100,000 people in 1983 to 1.29 per 100,000 people in 2004.

Many patients ignore the risk of mixing alcohol with prescriptions, said Cynthia Kuhn of Duke University Medical Center, who was not involved in the study.

"They think, 'Oh, one drink won't hurt.' Then they have three or four," Kuhn said.

The increase in deaths was highest among baby boomers, people in their 40s and 50s.

"We're sort of drug happy," said boomer Dr. J. Lyle Bootman, the University of Arizona's pharmacy dean, who was not involved in the research. "We have this general attitude that drugs can fix everything."

People share prescriptions at an alarming rate, Bootman said. One recent study found 23 percent of people say they have loaned their prescription medicine to someone else and 27 percent say they have borrowed someone else's prescription drugs.

Kenneth Kolosh, a statistics expert at the National Safety Council, praised the study but said improved attention to coding location on death certificates may account, in part, for the huge increases the researchers found.

Phillips countered that home deaths from any cause increased relatively little during the time period, so better coding doesn't explain the change.

Michael R. Cohen, president of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, said more states should require pharmacists to teach patients about dangerous drugs and insurers should pay pharmacists to do so.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Unions Oppose Drug Testing & Safety .. Again

Some Unions just don't get it, preferring to spread misinformation and rely upon scare tactics vs. acting responsibly and in the best interests of safety.

1. Random drug testing is NOT unconstitutional, nor illegal in the United States

2. Teachers should be subject to random drug testing, just as should firefighters, police, and other individuals in occupations where drug abuse would create serious safety issues.

3. Random drug testing via observed speciment collection, has proven to be effective at both detection and deterrence.

(Source: ABC News,

Random Drug Test For Teachers Meets Opposition

Teachers Union Says Drug Test Unconstitutional

HONOLULU -- There are more problems with a plan to randomly drug test school teachers. The union that represents public school teachers now said it can't knowingly agree to a plan it believes is unconstitutional.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association sent a letter to the school board that revealed where the two sides were far apart. The two sides had agreed to have a drug testing plan in place at the end of June, but missed the deadline.

Those eager to begin the new school year said the start is being clouded by drug testing controversy."I hope there is some reasonable resolution to this. It just going to take away from education and that's a shame," principal Mike Haramo said.

"We are starting the school year and they are still talking about it. You just wonder how long it's going to go on for," parent Rikki Wells said.

Wells said he worries it's all about red tape and politics and not enough focus on the children.Dragging it on, going into the courts, the political fees, the arguing back and forth and the truth," Wells said.

The first day of class for most public schools is the end of July, and at some campuses, teachers are to report to work next week.

Others who get random drug tests frequently said the same should apply to teachers.

"I think everyone in the HSTA should be drug tested just for the safety of the children," a construction worker said. Gloria Chi thinks random testing a good idea, but she thinks taking classroom money to pay for it is bad. "BOE should be doing something for the kids for education but the government should really pay for it," Chi said.

And when pressed about what appears to be an about face for the teachers union...

"Random is what teachers agreed to. We agreed to random and reasonable suspicion, but when we got into procedures we found complications of constitutional issues," HSTA Executive Director Mike McCartney said.

McCartney said the latest proposal is unworkable. Both sides have appealed to the labor board to help resolve the conflict.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Drugged Driving - July 2008 - New Laws

Police expect challenges to roadside drug test law
The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY — Drivers who operate a motor vehicle while high will no longer be able to refuse road side drug tests under new laws which came into affect last week.

Police can now require drivers to submit to roadside tests and also have the power to take suspected drug-impaired drivers to a police station or hospital to get a blood, urine or saliva sample.

Under the old law, police were obliged to tell drivers suspected of being high that roadside tests weren’t mandatory.
While the new law is being heralded by law enforcement officials, they also realize there will be challenges involved with enforcement.
“To us, this is a great thing, it’s another tool in our toolbox in terms of our officers out on the streets dealing with people they believe are drug induced and driving and now we actually have the law in place which gives us the authority to deal with these issues,” said deputy chief Myles Burke, of the Cape Breton Regional Police. “I think this is a great thing for law enforcement and a great thing for the community – it’s a positive step. There will no doubt ... be challenges to the law, challenges to the constitutionality of the demand and even the expertise of the experts themselves …
“This stuff can be challenged, but that’s fine. That comes with every law we’re dealing with, but at the end of the day we will have people here who are certified experts, who will be doing the field testing that is required and will be going to court in cases where they feel someone is driving under the influence of narcotics.”
Burke said training of officers within the traffic safety unit will be the key to successful enforcement of the law and he would like to see experts on call 24/7 to help deal with situations when they arise.
“The training is very specialized and although there are funds available to train officers, it does require a significant commitment and officers have to leave the local area (for training),” said Burke. “One component of the course, the officers are actually trained at a U.S. prison doing testing of people going in and out of the prison. Their field subject testing is actually live at a prison.
“We have requested for the next training course available to have a couple of seats made available. We are very interested in having a couple of our officers trained as experts.”

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Parents are the Problem?

The below is demonstrable of the lack of drug education on the part of parents.

Some parents view random drug testing as a "punishment" or "lack of trust", when in reality it is a BENEFIT to students, parents,and schools. It you consider that over 20,000 people die annually due to drug overdose, and millions of students regularly abuse prescription drugs (this is the problem NOT mariujana), and illict drugs such as meth & cocaine... combined with the fact that it take 3.5 years for a parent to learn their child abuses, even trained DRE (drug recognition experts fail to identify a drug abuser 90% of the time... and well, you get the terrible picture.

Concerned about random drug testing

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 12:49 PM CDT

I have been following with interest the subject of Bandera ISD's policy of random drug testing at the middle and high schools.

As the mother of four children, I am concerned about my kids' health and safety when they are at school. I, like all parents, desire an educational environment which nurtures, challenges and supports my children.

However, try as I may, I cannot see how random drug testing is compatible with this goal. The only thing I see it doing is punishing both the innocent and the guilty.

As a former high school teacher, I can attest that, in my experience, it is not very difficult to identify a student who is under the influence of drugs.

Why are such Draconian measures now being proposed to do the same thing that an observant teacher could have done without disturbing the learning environment?

I applaud Mr. Zavorka's recent appeal to school board members to truly think about the implications of this policy before adopting it. He certainly gave me pause.
As C.S. Lewis wrote, "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."

The citizens of Bandera should consider this before supporting the random drug testing of their children.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Specimen Validity Ruling Ineffective

The recent "final rule" for urine-based "Specimen Validity Testing" (outlined below) is clearly of limited value, as it does little to address the prevalent practice of drug abusers cheatig urine tests.

Observed collection is the only method to assure specimen validity.

The ODAPC / DOT / & SAMHSA must stop their "political crumbling" to private interest groups such as large urine laboratories and accept alternative specimen types - oral fluid, hair - where observed specimen collection is the norm.

While the General Workplace can develop effective drug free workplace programs, those subject to Federal Mandated Drug Testing clearly can not.

Summary of Final Rule for Specimen Validity Testing

Published in today’s Federal Register is a Department of Transportation Final Rule:

Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs

In summary:

1. This Final Rule makes it mandatory for laboratories to test all DOT specimens for specimen validity (i.e., adulterants and urine substitutes) and for laboratories to follow all Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) protocols for doing so.

2. Observed collections will afford less privacy in order to guard against employee use of items designed specifically to beat the testing process.

a. Directly observed collections will continue to occur only when there is a specific reason to believe that an employee may be attempting, or have sufficient reason, to evade the testing process.

b. Items such as prosthetic devices designed to carry clean urine will be checked for by observers with both male and female donors. The observer will have the employee raise and lower clothing, and then put it back into place for the observed collection.

c. Observed collections will now be required, rather than optional, for all return-to-duty and follow-up drug testing.

3. In an effort to thwart those who would manufacturer products designed to adulterate specimens, the Final Rule will no longer have easy-to-follow tables and charts outlining the adulterants for which laboratories are testing and the scientific cutoff levels at which laboratories are testing them.

4. Definitions in the Final Rule have been changed to harmonize with the HHS.

5. During an invalid result Medical Review Officer (MRO) review, an employee admission of adulterating or substituting a specimen is now a refusal to test.

6. Pursuant to MRO requests, the Final Rule will close the potentially endless loop on invalid specimen results; and employees requiring negative results [for example, pre-employment tests], when they have medical reasons for providing invalid results, will be able to obtain them through medical evaluations to rule out signs and symptoms of drug use.

7. The Final Rule will also streamline and simplify the potential myriad of complicated laboratory-confirmed and MRO-verified drug test results.

8. The Final Rule requires drug testing laboratories to report to DOT semi-annual statistical summaries on all of their DOT testing.

9. The Final Rule effective date is August 25, 2008.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Boston Massachusetts Fire Fighters Union - Not the Norm

Random drug-testing programs are problematic for some unions.

Union leadership claims random drug testing is a violation of workers' right to privacy. Yet, this is appears to be an indefensible position.

Concerns of employee safety and public safety should be the #1 priority with union leaders. Sadly, it may not case for some.

Many non-union employees are required to have a pre-employment drug test and a random drug test. If workers refuse testing, they are terminated. If employees fail a drug test ... they are terminated - (which I don't view as best practice)-, or suspended and subsequently referred to an employee assistance program (EAP), which may or may not be funded by company insurance.

Simple... straight forward... and effective.

Random drug testing, conducted properly, is an effective deterent to on-the-job substance abuse, as well as a detection mechanism. What an employee does at home is not the business of any employer. When employee's behaviors effect the safety of their collegues or the public... it's not only their employers' business... it's their employers' legal obligation.

While many unions have adopted, or at least allowed random drug and alcohol testing, the Boston / Massachusetts Fire Fighters Union has failed to protect its members and the public at large.

No employee, or the public wants a drug or alcohol impaired individual in a safety sensitive position.

The Boston Fire Department had a recent tragedy in which two fatalities tested "positive" for drugs and/or alcohol. Whether this information should have been released to the public the way it was... is certainly questionable. No one should question the bravery of the individual involve, and most would not consider it.

The subsequent stonewalling of the fire fighters unions relative to drug testing is unconscionable, however, and a disgrace to everyone.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Drug Abuse in Construction & The Role of Union Leadership

"A construction work site is no place for an alcohol- or drug-impaired worker," says LI UNA General President Terence M. O'Sullivan. "To limit this risk and, also, to ensure that workers who need help get it, the Laborers support efforts to establish comprehensive drug-free workplace programs in the construction industry."


Union stewards, general members, & senior management benefit from training on the many manifestations of substance misuse in the workplace, and their impact on working people and their children, contractors, insurers, and owners. Avitar's novel approach to workplace substance abuse management can assist in providing a framework of knowledge as well as implementation monitoring tools.

Joint development of the training curriculum, drug policy, and testing programs, would, however, require the direct involvement of union management. While Avitar can supply the technical components, to gain organization-wide commitment requires high level of participation and support of union leadership. Arguably, this leadership has been lacking in specific cases.

Unions would benefit by working with contractors, owners, insurers, and innovative drug-free workplace service providers to establish comprehensive drug-free workplace policies that include an education component to demonstrate their commitment to a drug-free workplace, support random testing via observed specimen collection, and provide employee assistance programs.

Random testing via oral is convenient, effective, non-invasive, and targets "on-the-job" drug misuse. Unlike traditional urine-based testing, oral fluid testing;

1. deters substance misuse
2. reduces accidents, workers comp claims and,
2. improves workforce image and quality.

While Construction Union may be aware of the unresolved, and epidemic problem of substance abuse in the construction sector, they may not be aware that a solution exists and the importance of their playing a leading role in mitigating the issue.

Substance abuse diminishes the ability of unions to build membership and mobilize current members.
- It erodes self-esteem and autonomy and undermines union participation, power, and leadership.
- It damages the solidarity of the union community and weakens its ability to withstand employer "attacks".

1. Unfortunately many contractors, owners, and insurers view unions as an impediment to resolution of the substance abuse in the construction sector. The lack of a comprehensive and effective occupational drug-free workplace approach by Unions contributes ineffective, ad-hoc industry practices. Similarly, the AFL-CIO program requiring urine testing and specific vendors, even further delays positive, pro-active change.

2. Unions must be proactive in efforts to deter the abuse of controlled substances and alcohol on construction sites. Laborers, management, and all related constituencies would benefit by developing and negotiating a drug and alcohol testing template programs for all contractors / owners / insurers.

3. A comprehensive drug-free workplace program MUST include:
random drug testing (via observed collection - traditional urine-based testing is relatively ineffective),
education, and

Measurement is crucial to the recognition, treatment, and prevention of substance abuse related occupational injuries, and other negative impacts. Deterrence and identification of substance abuse benefits the individuals, their immediate coworkers, workers throughout the industry, and others exposed to the negative impacts of substance misuse. (insurers, owners, contractors, public).

4. What union members do away from work is a private affair as long as they aren't impaired when reporting to work, however, traditional urine drug testing is contrary to this notion. Neither unions nor employers should not be allowed to dictate behaviors while away from work.

5. Deterrence is the goal, however, detection and assitance are true benefits.
Union MAP's (member assistance programs) are underutilized (not used 60% of the time). MAPs serve members as well as health & MMwelfare funds, contractors, owners, alike.
- MAPs help laborers & families access to assistance most needed for personal problems/issues
- MAPs control costs (lack of care created costs far exceeding MAP cost).
Labor organizations can only offer assistance to their members on a variety of health, welfare, and safety issues, including substance use disorders, only if aware of the problem.

Sources and Additional Information:

1. 50% of abuse detected now involves prescription drugs, esp. pain relievers. The abuse / misuse of many popular prescription pain releivers is not tested via traditional DOT-based urine testing.

2. While approximately 15%- 20% of construction workers abuse drugs, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics survey significantly underestimate the incidence of work related injuries and illnesses. The United States does not have a comprehensive national surveillance system for occupational injuries and illnesses. Lacking this system, major sources of US occupational health data include the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annual survey of occupational injuries and illnesses, workers' compensation records, and physician reporting systems. Data produced by these systems have been described as fragmentary, unreliable, and inconsistent. Moreover, they have been shown to underestimate the incidence of workrelated injuries, illnesses, and even fatalities by as much as several hundred percent. (Occupational injury and illness surveillance: Conceptual filters explain underreporting; Azaroff, Lenore S; Levenstein, Charles; Wegman, David H American Journal of Public Health 09-01-2002 )

3. 77% of adults with substance abuse disorders are employed - Results From the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 05-4062. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, September 2005, p. 72.

4. LIUNA MAPs save money - Detroit, first-quarter 2003 data indicate that the LAP saves the fund about $175,000 annually over the likely cost of service to members if no MAP existed. In Southern Illinois, drug expenditures for the first two quarters since MAP usage was mandated are running more than 50 percent below the previous year's average. In Massachusetts, since the MAP was established in 1991, the Fund has saved about $8.8 million in average length of service and per diem costs for in-patient care.

5. Substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life, workers & families. According to a 2005 Hazelden Foundation survey, more than 69 percent of employed people indicated that if a family member were struggling with abuse or addiction, it would negatively affect their ability to concentrate and be productive at work. In fact, 36 percent of people who are employed admitted that at least one of their coworkers had been distracted, less productive, or missed work because of alcohol/drug abuse or addiction within their family.

6. A key message for labor organizations to communicate to employers is that treatment for substance use disorders has substantial benefits for businesses. Reported job problems, including incomplete work, absenteeism, tardiness, work-related injuries, mistakes, and disagreements with supervisors, are cut by an average of 75 percent among employees who have received treatment for substance use disorders. Furthermore, treatment has a benefit-to-cost ratio of 7:1, with substance use disorder treatment costing $1,583 on average and having a monetary benefit to society of nearly $11,487.

7. Domestic violence is directly related to substance abuse. Despite the obvious importance of involving unions in domestic violence prevention with men, little works has been done is this area. This may reflect fears that unions would not be receptive to addressing domestic violence. Senior office holders within some unions have been hesitant to apply their leadership to this issue, for various reasons. Sometimes union leadership has not understood how widespread domestic violence is. Sometimes they have argued that it is a private matter best left to the couple affected. At other times they have expressed concern but felt pessimistic about their ability to do anything about it. And on other occasions they have felt torn between their desire to protect a worker from disciplinary action or job loss and their conviction that domestic violence is wrong.

- It is every employer's legal responsibility to ensure safety in the workplace. Domestic violence compromises the well-being, job performance, and productivity of valuable employees. Many of the attitudes and gender roles that increase men's risk of using domestic violence also predispose men to other high risk behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse, workplace violence, or taking unnecessary safety risks to demonstrate "toughness" to peers.
- Domestic violence is a leading cause of workplace violence; it also creates safety and health risks to everyone in the workplace:
- Since almost one in four women is affected by domestic violence, we can make a conservative estimate that 10% of employees may be affected by domestic violence.
- 24% of abused women said they were either late or missed days of work due to abuse
- 54% of abused women missed up to three full days of work per month.
- 94% of corporate security directors surveyed rank domestic violence as a high security problem at their company.
- Violence against women weakens unions and diminishes their ability to build membership or mobilize current members.
- Domestic violence is a safety and health issue for all members since perpetrators often stalk and harass women at their workplace, possibly jeopardizing co-workers as well. Additionally, domestic violence is a work/family issue, since it has devastating economic and personal consequences for the family.

8. Most union members are in support of drug testing (Discriminating characteristics of union members' attitudes toward drug testing in the workplace, Journal of Labor Research, 2007.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Drugged Driving and Alcohol DUI Leading Cause of Deaths

2008 SAMHSA REPORT - United Stated Department of Heatlh and Human Services

5% of people drove under the influence of illicit drugs in the past year (10 million drivers)
(15% under influence of alcohol).

States with the highest drugged driving rates:
District of Columbia (7.0 percent),
Rhode Island (6.8 percent),
Massachusetts (6.4 percent),
Montana (6.3 percent), and
Wyoming (6.2 percent).

Impaired driving is the LEADING CAUSE OF DEATHS among persons aged 3 to 33.

Illicit drugs, as defined above, includes marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription-type drugs used nonmedically.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Random Student Drug Testing - 2008

CALVERTON, Md., April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

A substantial proportion of the nation's public school districts have instituted random drug testing among their high school students, some possibly going beyond sanctions set by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a study led by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE). These sanctions limit testing to students involved in sports and extracurricular activities.

The study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, includes data collected from 1,343 drug prevention coordinators in a nationally representative sample of school districts that include high school students. Fourteen percent of the nation's school districts reported conducting random drug testing of students in high school grades in the 2004-2005 academic year.

Nearly all school districts that implemented random drug testing procedures subjected their athletes to the possibility of being tested, and two-thirds randomly tested high school students who participated in other extracurricular activities. More than a quarter of the districts that implemented random drug testing subjected all their high school students to the possibility of being tested.
The Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that testing student athletes for drugs is constitutional, even in the absence of any suspicion of substance use. In a subsequent case, the Court extended its ruling to include students participating in extracurricular activities.

"Random student drug testing will likely continue to be controversial and the practice is likely to be contested, just as we saw with the recent ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court," said Dr. Chris Ringwalt, Senior Research Scientist at PIRE. The Washington State Supreme Court ruled on March 13, 2008, based on a lawsuit that student athletes brought against a local school district, that random drug testing of student athletes is not allowed under the state's constitution, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's 1995 ruling (Supreme Court of the State of Washington. York v. Wahkiakum School District No. 200. Docket No: 99-2-00075-6, March 13, 2008).

Dr. Ringwalt concluded, "This study will provide a benchmark for monitoring the prevalence of random drug testing of high school students in the future."
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

Friday, March 28, 2008


(source: Forensic Sci Int. 2007 Apr 12)

Despite the lack of speed, likely due program mismangement and lobbying on the part of urine labs and large TPAs that have a vested interest in urine testing, SAMHSA will (per the below) have to approve alternative forms of drug testing in order to manage workplace drug abuse.

The U.S. Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs: Current status and future considerations.
Donna M Bush - Division of Workplace Programs, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, One Choke Cherry Road, Room 2-1033, Rockville, MD 20857, USA.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) drug testing standards were published in 1988 and revised in 1994, 1998, and 2004.

In a separate notice, HHS proposed to establish scientific and technical guidelines for the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Program to:

(1) permit laboratory testing of hair, oral fluid, and sweat patch specimens in addition to urine specimens for marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine, opiates (with focus on heroin), and amphetamines [including methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDEA), methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)];

(2) permit use of on-site point of collection test (POCT) devices to test urine and oral fluid at collection sites;

(3) permit use of instrumented initial test (screening only) facilities [IITF] to quickly identify negative specimens; and (

4) add training requirement for collectors, on-site testers, and MROs.

This proposal was published in the Federal Register on 13 April 2004, with a 90-day public comment period.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS, reviewed those comments and is preparing the Final Notice that will define the requirements for such testing, including: specimen collection procedures, custody and control procedures that ensure donor specimen identity and integrity, testing facility, initial and confirmatory test cutoff concentrations, analytical testing methods, result review and reporting, evaluation of alternative medical explanations for presence of drug or metabolite in the donor's specimen, and laboratory certification issues.

Voluntary pilot performance testing (PT) programs for each specimen type are on-going since April 2000 to determine how to prepare PT materials for specimens other than urine to evaluate laboratories' ability to routinely achieve accuracy and precision required.

Certification programs will be developed using the current urine drug testing National Laboratory Certification Program model.

The addition of accurate and reliable workplace drug testing using hair, oral fluid, and sweat patch specimens will complement urine drug testing, and aid in combating industries devoted to suborning drug testing through adulteration, substitution, and dilution.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Saliva / Oral Fluid Proteins Mapped

Protein map of human spit created
By Julie Steenhuysen 27 minutes ago

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. researchers have identified all 1,116 unique proteins found in human saliva glands, a discovery they said on Tuesday could usher in a wave of convenient, spit-based diagnostic tests that could be done without the need for a single drop of blood.

As many as 20 percent of the proteins that are found in saliva are also found in blood, said Fred Hagan, a researcher at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York who worked on the study.

"This is potentially a large field that has many clinical implications in the area of disease diagnostics," said Hagan, whose work was published in the Journal of Proteome Research.

The researchers hope saliva-based tests could be used to diagnose cancer, heart disease, diabetes and a number of other conditions.

"To be able to diagnose disease using saliva, you really have to have a comprehensive understanding of the saliva proteome," Hagan said in a telephone interview.

Like a genome, which lists all of the genes in an organism, a proteome is a complete map of proteins. While genes provide the instruction manual, proteins carry out the instructions by regulating cellular processes.

Researchers from five universities -- the University of Rochester, The Scripps Research Institute, the University of Southern California, The University of California San Francisco and the University of California Los Angeles -- sought to determine the complete set of proteins secreted by the major salivary glands.


They collected saliva from 23 healthy men and women of several races. They tested saliva samples using some form of mass spectrometry, which determines the identity of proteins based on measurements of their mass and charge.

They compared their findings with recent protein maps of human blood and tears.

Early analysis has already turned up a number of proteins with known roles in Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases; breast, colorectal and pancreatic cancer and diabetes.

Most of the proteins were part of signaling pathways, which are key to the body's response to system wide diseases.

Hagan said the work should accelerate the development of new tools for tracking disease throughout the body.

Already there are saliva-based antibody tests to detect human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, and hepatitis infections, Hagan said. He said this protein map will provide new targets.

"Monitoring disease as well as drug use could be more easily done with saliva as opposed to blood or urine," he said.

Other groups are working on a saliva-based test for breast cancer that would detect a protein fragment from the HER2 protein. Hagan said such tests could eventually replace uncomfortable and costly mammograms.

"We envision in the future spitting in a tube and looking for a marker like this breast cancer marker. It would be much easier to do, potentially at home," he said.

"Given that we've made this information publicly available, we fully expect a number of research groups will be picking their favorite targets and developing their own tests. That is the intent -- to create a wealth of data to stimulate more research and increase the chances of producing better diagnostic tests," Hagan said.

(Editing by Maggie Fox and Mohammad Zargham)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Workplace Drug Abuse Statistics Misleading?

The following statistics are misleading at best.

A review of the data shows that drug abuse rates among workers have been stagnant for past decade.

Any statement that workplace drug abuse is lower, would be unsupportable by the findings.

The data does potentially indicate that that drug abusers have learned to cheat urine-based drug tests. This being supported by research recently concluded by the U.S. Government General Accounting Office (GAO) noting that cheating urine-based testing is easily accomplished and virtually undetectable.

The report also neglects to point out the opiate detection rates continue to climb. .. particularly oxycodones have gone up nearly 40% in one year!

" Use of Methamphetamine Among U.S. Workers and Job Applicants Drops 22 Percent in 2007 and Cocaine Use Slows Dramatically, Reports Quest Diagnostics"

Findings from Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index® also show that overall drug positivity remains at record lows

MADISON, NJ, March 12, 2008 — The percentage of positive tests for methamphetamine among U.S. job applicants and workers in the general U.S. workforce dropped more than 22 percent between 2006 and 2007.

These findings, from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index®, reflect the reversal of an upward trend in use of the drug by more than 73 percent from 2002 to 2004. These data were released today by Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX), the nation's leading provider of employment-related drug testing services.

The report also shows that positive tests for cocaine in the general U.S. workforce were down 19 percent between 2006 and 2007 and that overall drug use, among workers subject to drug testing, remains at an all-time low.

Methamphetamine, the most commonly abused type of amphetamine, increased in production and trafficking during the 1990’s to become the most prevalent illegally manufactured synthetic drug in the United States. Analysis of the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index, released semi-annually, suggests that efforts to reduce illicit, clandestine production of methamphetamine may be having an impact on workplace positive tests for the drug.

"The fact that America's workers are using cocaine and methamphetamine at some of the lowest levels in years is further evidence of the tremendous success that law enforcement is having at impacting the nation's illicit drug supply," said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. "DEA will continue its relentless assault on the drug supply to help keep these dangerous drugs out of our neighborhoods."

While the 2007 Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index shows that positive methamphetamine tests have decreased, it also indicates that the use of amphetamine in the general workforce has increased slightly, by about five percent. Testing for methamphetamine and amphetamine was conducted among employees and applicants in the U.S. workforce tested for the class of drugs called amphetamines.

"Although some may conclude that there is a reduced availability for methamphetamine, the fact that our data show an increase in amphetamines suggests that some workers might be replacing one stimulant drug for another in the larger drug class of amphetamines," said Barry Sample, Ph.D., Director of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics' Employer Solutions division.

Methamphetamine and amphetamine are both types of stimulants, which typically are used by individuals to increase alertness and relieve fatigue. Stimulants are also used for euphoric effects or to counteract the "down" feeling of tranquilizers or alcohol. Possible side effects of stimulants include increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils and decreased appetite. High doses may cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, loss of coordination or collapse. Indications of possible misuse may include excessive activity, talkativeness, irritability, argumentativeness or nervousness.

Cocaine Use Continues to Decline

The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index shows that the percentage of positive tests for cocaine was down 19 percent among the U.S. general workforce since the first half of 2007 - the largest single-year drop since 1997. Positive tests for cocaine among the general workforce declined to 0.58 percent in 2007 from 0.72 percent in 2006.

Overall Drug Use Remains at All-Time Low

Additionally, drug use by employees remains at its lowest level since Quest Diagnostics began publishing the Drug Testing Index in 1988. Among the combined U.S. workforce, only 3.8 percent of the tests had positive results — the same level reported in 2006 — compared to a high of 13.6 percent in 1988. Further, among safety-sensitive federal workers only, the Drug Testing Index showed that drug use was at an all-time low of 1.8 percent of the tested work force.

The 2007 Drug Testing Index is a summary of results from 8.4 million workplace drug tests performed by Quest Diagnostics between January and December 2007. Results are based on tests that Quest Diagnostics performs for employers that conduct pre-employment, random or for-cause drug testing. For more information, see additional results below.

About the Drug Testing Index

The Drug Testing Index is published as a public service for government, media and industry and has been considered a benchmark for national trends since its inception in 1988. It examines positivity rates — the proportion of positive results for each drug to all such drug tests performed — among three major testing populations: federally mandated, safety-sensitive workers; the general workforce; and the combined U.S. workforce. Federally mandated, safety-sensitive workers include pilots, bus and truck drivers, and workers in nuclear power plants, for whom routine drug testing is mandated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics is the leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services that patients and doctors need to make better healthcare decisions. The company offers the broadest access to diagnostic testing services through its national network of laboratories and patient service centers, and provides interpretive consultation through its extensive medical and scientific staff. Quest Diagnostics is a pioneer in developing innovative new diagnostic tests and advanced healthcare information technology solutions that help improve patient care. Additional company information is available at:

The statements in this press release which are not historical facts or information may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and outcomes to be materially different. Certain of these risks and uncertainties may include, but are not limited to, competitive environment, changes in government regulations, changing relationships with customers, payers, suppliers and strategic partners and other factors described in the Quest Diagnostics Incorporated 2005 Form 10‑K and subsequent SEC filings.

The Drug Testing Index © 2008 Quest Diagnostics Incorporated. All rights reserved.

Tables Follow
Positive Prevalence Rates for Amphetamine and Methamphetamine —
Percentage of All Tests for “Amphetamines“
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Amphetamine 0.40% 0.38% 0.44% 0.45% 0.41% Methamphetamine 0.14% 0.18% 0.28% 0.33% 0.32% Percent Difference - Amphetamine 5.3% -13.6% -2.2% 9.8% Percent Difference - Methamphetamine -22.2% -35.7% -15.2% 3.1%

Positivity Rates for Cocaine
2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Cocaine 0.58% 0.72% 0.70% 0.72% 0.74% Percent Difference - Cocaine -19.4% 2.9% -2.8% -2.7%

Annual Positivity Rates
For Combined U.S. Workforce
(More than 8.4 million tests from January to December 2007)
Year Drug Positive Rate 1988 13.6% 1989 12.7% 1990 11.0% 1991 8.8% 1992 8.8% 1993 8.4% 1994 7.5% 1995 6.7% 1996 5.8% 1997 5.0% 1998 4.8% 1999 4.6% 2000 4.7% 2001 4.6% 2002 4.4% 2003 4.5% 2004 4.5% 2005 4.1% 2006 3.8% 2007 3.8%

Positivity Rates By Testing Category
Testing Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Federally Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workforce 1.8% 2.0% 2.3% 2.3% 2.5% General U.S. Workforce 4.4% 4.4% 4.5% 4.9% 5.0% Combined U.S. Workforce 3.8% 3.8% 4.1% 4.5% 4.5%

Positivity Rates By Testing Reason
For Federally Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workforce
(More than 1.8 million tests from January to December 2007)
Testing Reason 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Follow-Up 2.8% 3.0% 3.1% 3.3% 3.4% For Cause 11.1% 12.5% 13.4% 14.1% 13.8% Periodic 0.75% 0.59% 0.76% 0.51% 0.75% Post-Accident 2.6% 2.7% 3.0% 2.9% 3.1% Pre-Employment 2.0% 2.3% 2.6% 2.7% 2.9% Random 1.5% 1.5% 1.8% 1.8% 1.9% Returned to Duty 3.3% 3.2% 3.0% 2.9% 2.8%

Positivity Rates By Testing Reason
For General U.S. Workforce
(More than 6.6 million tests from January to December 2007)
Testing Reason 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Follow-Up 7.7% 7.4% 9.6% 9.9% 9.6% For Cause 19.2% 18.1% 28.3% 27.8% 28.2% Periodic 1.4% 1.9% 2.4% 1.9% 2.2% Post-Accident 5.8% 5.7% 5.8% 5.7% 5.7% Pre-Employment 3.9% 3.9% 3.9% 4.1% 4.1% Random 5.7% 5.5% 6.6% 7.1% 6.6% Returned to Duty 5.6% 5.8% 6.0% 5.5% 5.6%

Positivity Rates By Drug Category
For Federally Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workforce, as a percentage of all such tests
(More than 1.8 million tests from January to December 2007)
Drug Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Amphetamines 0.25% 0.28% 0.35% 0.31% 0.29% Cocaine 0.44% 0.58% 0.60% 0.57% 0.59% Marijuana 0.88% 0.94% 1.10% 1.25% 1.34% Opiates 0.18% 0.17% 0.18% 0.17% 0.19% PCP 0.04% 0.03% 0.04% 0.04% 0.04%

Positivity Rates By Drug Category
For General U.S. Workforce, as a percentage of all such tests
(More than 6.6 million tests from January to December 2007)
Drug Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Amphetamines 0.44% 0.42% 0.48% 0.52% 0.49% Barbiturates 0.24% 0.23% 0.25% 0.27% 0.29% Benzodiazepines 0.67% 0.62% 0.58% 0.58% 0.60% Cocaine 0.58% 0.72% 0.70% 0.72% 0.74% Marijuana 2.34% 2.38% 2.54% 2.88% 2.96% Methadone 0.23% 0.22% 0.23% 0.21% 0.20% Opiates 0.35% 0.32% 0.32% 0.32% 0.34% Oxycodones 0.88%1 0.64%2 0.56%3 -- -- PCP 0.02% 0.01% 0.02% 0.01% 0.03% Propoxyphene 0.58% 0.55% 0.57% 0.63% 0.67%

Positivity Rates By Drug Category
For Combined U.S. Workforce, as a percentage of all such tests
(More than 8.4 million tests from January to December 2007)
Drug Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Amphetamines 0.40% 0.39% 0.46% 0.49% 0.45% Barbiturates 0.24% 0.23% 0.25% 0.27% 0.29% Benzodiazepines 0.67% 0.62% 0.58% 0.58% 0.60% Cocaine 0.55% 0.69% 0.69% 0.70% 0.71% Marijuana 2.01% 2.04% 2.28% 2.59% 2.67% Methadone 0.23% 0.22% 0.23% 0.21% 0.20% Opiates 0.32% 0.28% 0.29% 0.29% 0.31% Oxycodones 0.88%1 0.64%2 0.56%3 -- -- PCP 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.02% 0.03% Propoxyphene 0.58% 0.55% 0.57% 0.63% 0.67%

Non-Negative Rates By Specimen Validity Test (SVT)4 Category
For Federally Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workforce, as a percentage of all such tests
(More than 1.8 million tests from January to December 2007)
SVT Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Acid-Base 0.01% 0.00% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% Invalid 0.11% 0.12% 0.12% 0.08% 0.08% Oxidizing Adulterants 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.02% 0.03% Substitution 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.06% 0.06%

Non-Negative Rates By Specimen Validity Test (SVT)4 Category
For General U.S. Workforce, as a percentage of all such tests
(More than 6.6 million tests from January to December 2007)
SVT Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Acid-Base 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.01% 0.01% Invalid 0.13% 0.15% 0.16% 0.10% 0.10% Oxidizing Adulterants 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.01% 0.02% Substitution 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.03% 0.03%

Non-Negative Rates By Drug/SVT Category
For Federally Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workers, as a Percentage of All Non-Negatives
(More than 35 thousand non-negative test results from January to December 2007)
Drug/SVT Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Acid/Base 0.47% 0.15% 0.27% 0.32% 0.37% Amphetamines 12.7% 12.6% 14.8% 12.7% 11.4% Cocaine 22.2% 26.3% 25.4% 23.2% 22.7% Invalid 5.5% 5.7% -- -- -- Marijuana 45.2% 43.8% 47.8% 52.4% 53.6% Opiates 9.2% 7.8% 7.7% 7.1% 7.4% Oxidizing Adulterants 0.00% 0.00% 0.06% 0.42% 0.52% PCP 2.1% 1.6% 1.8% 1.4% 1.7% Substituted 2.7% 2.2% 2.3% 2.4% 2.3%

Non-Negative Rates By Drug/SVT Category
For General U.S. Workforce, as a Percentage of All Non-Negatives
(More than 315 thousand non-negative test results from January to December 2007)
Drug/SVT Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Acid/Base 0.04% 0.04% 0.06% 0.11% 0.16% Amphetamines 9.2% 8.8% 10.1% 10.0% 9.0% Barbiturates 2.8% 2.6% 2.7% 2.7% 2.8% Benzodiazepines 6.9% 6.1% 5.4% 5.0% 5.1% Cocaine 12.2% 15.0% 14.7% 13.8% 13.8% Invalid 2.8% 3.2% -- -- -- Marijuana 48.8% 49.5% 53.0% 55.0% 55.0% Methadone 2.2% 2.0% 2.0% 1.7% 1.6% Methaqualone 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Opiates 7.4% 6.6% 6.6% 6.1% 6.3% Oxycodones 1.5% 0.74% -- -- -- Oxidizing Adulterants 0.00% 0.00% 0.05% 0.16% 0.48% PCP 0.35% 0.31% 0.31% 0.28% 0.51% Propoxyphene 5.6% 4.9% 4.9% 4.9% 5.0% Substituted 0.26% 0.27% 0.26% 0.49% 0.58%

Non-Negative Rates By Drug/SVT Category
For Combined U.S. Workforce, as a Percentage of All Non-Negatives
(More than 350 thousand non-negative test results from January to December 2007)
Drug/SVT Category 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Acid/Base 0.09% 0.05% 0.08% 0.13% 0.18% Amphetamines 9.6% 9.3% 10.6% 10.2% 9.3% Barbiturates 2.5% 2.3% 2.5% 2.5% 2.5% Benzodiazepines 6.1% 5.4% 4.9% 4.5% 4.7% Cocaine 13.2% 16.4% 15.7% 14.7% 14.6% Invalid 3.0% 3.5% -- -- -- Marijuana 48.4% 48.8% 52.5% 54.8% 54.9% Methadone 2.0% 1.8% 1.8% 1.5% 1.4% Methaqualone 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Opiates 7.6% 6.7% 6.7% 6.2% 6.4% Oxidizing Adulterants 0.00% 0.00% 0.09% 0.19% 0.52% Oxycodones 1.4% 0.65% -- -- -- PCP 0.53% 0.46% 0.45% 0.38% 0.61% Propoxyphene 5.0% 4.3% 4.4% 4.4% 4.5% Substituted 0.51% 0.49% 0.45% 0.66% 0.73%

1 More than 500,000 tests

2 Approximately 400,000 tests

3 More than 200,000 tests

4 Specimen validity testing is the evaluation of a specimen to determine if it is consistent with a normal human specimen. Tests for specimen validity include tests to determine whether a specimen is adulterated or substituted.

Open a printable copy (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Unions Wrong About Drug Testing

Why is drug testing subject to collective bargaining?

The Massachusetts Joint Labor-Management Committee has taken jurisdiction of the contract dispute between the City of Boston and the firefighters’ union (Local 718). However, this step does not mean that mandatory alcohol and drug testing is any closer to becoming a reality in the Boston Fire Department.

The president of the state firefighters’ union has argued that the Joint Labor-Management Committee cannot consider drug testing in arbitration.

That view should not prevail, as this contract must begin the effort to break through the imbedded culture of the Fire Department by including basic management reform measures and mandatory drug testing.

Clearly, it is in the broader interest of the Commonwealth that all uniformed public safety employees be required to annually undergo standard drug and alcohol testing.
While this contract may be settled before such change, drug testing should be a state public safety requirement, not subject to local negotiations.

Following a tragic restaurant fire in West Roxbury in August, in which two firefighters died, city officials in early October presented to Local 718 a comprehensive alcohol and drug testing policy for negotiation. The union has yet to respond in writing to the city’s proposal.

The Menino administration had put drug testing on the table in contract negotiations with Local 718 in 1999 !!!!!, and 2004 but no agreement was reached.

Union resistance and the city’s desire to secure other needed management reforms in the Fire Department at a reasonable cost are why drug testing has not been yet approved.

The firefighters’ union maintains that the Joint Labor-Management Committee cannot consider drug testing as an issue for arbitration in the Boston dispute because the city did not list drug testing in its petition filed last August. The union would prefer to negotiate this matter separately with the city for a reported 21 percent salary increase rather than have the Joint Labor-Management Committee require drug testing in an arbitration decision.

The union’s position is not supported by state law or the Joint Labor-Management Committee’s case history, which shows several examples of decisions rendered in fire union cases that include issues not listed in the initial petitions, including drug testing.

Local 718 has high expectations for a new contract with drug testing and points to the 1998 police contract that provided for drug testing and also accepted the Quinn Bill. However, in that contract, the police accepted no salary increases in fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2002 when firefighters received 4 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

Also, drug testing was considered innovative nine years ago and not the norm that it is today. Indeed, random alcohol and drug testing is more common in major urban fire departments around the country, including Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

The contract with Local 718 should include mandatory random alcohol and drug testing, but if it does not include other significant reform measures at a cost consistent with the recently negotiated public safety contracts, it should not be approved.

The stakes are too high for the welfare of the public and firefighters to settle for small incremental change in this contract.

Orignal Source: Boston Globe

Drug Testing Educators

The West Des Moines school district is believed to be the first in Iowa to adopt alcohol and illicit drug testing for all potential employees.The new policy was approved Monday and mimics private sector drug screening.

It is uncommon for public schools nationwide.

“We can say with a fair amount of confidence that this is the first such policy in Iowa,” said Lisa Bartusek, associate executive director for the Iowa Association of School Boards.

The school board unanimously approved the policy, which affects all potential employees and also current ones who are suspected of drug use. Employees who test positive for drug use or who arrive at work with a blood-alcohol concentration of .04 percent or more could be fired or forced to seek rehabilitation.

"It was surprising to me that other districts don’t do this,” said board member Susan Moritz, who helped craft the policy. “It came out of the idea that our bus drivers were already being tested, and if we felt that was important for our bus drivers, wasn’t it also important for the people who were in our buildings?”

The purpose is to “help new applicants understand that we simply don’t tolerate any kind of drug abuse on the job.”

Original Source: Des Moines Register

Random Student Drug Testing

Drug education programs and parental advice often aren’t as strong as peer pressure.

Studies show in the last year more than one in three high school seniors used illicit drugs.

Scott County Superintendent, Dr. Dallas Blankenship -
“We think that if we have a drug testing program it will help students to explain to their peers that they are not going to do drugs.”Somerset High School began randomly drug testing students involved in “privileged activities”, like sports and cheerleading last fall. Their principal, Jeff Perkins, calls it “one of the best things I think we’ve done.”

The Program
Both students and parents are required to sign drug testing consent forms in order to participate in privileged activities. Curricular or academic based activities like band, debate and choir are not currently tested, even though they too are competitive extracurricular activities.Students be tested are randomly selected and the process takes about five minutes per student. The test looks for the presence of drugs like marijuana, meth and ecstasy as well as prescription drugs such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. If a test is non-negative, a second test is sent to a laboratory for additional testing. If the confirmatory test is positive, the student receives counseling and may have to perform certain tasks such as writing a paper and performing community service. The student is also suspended from participating in the privileged activity for a short period of time.

The Intent
Overall the random drug testing program is designed to be preventative and not punitive. It’s also designed to give kids who do test positive a second chance.“We’re getting on the other side of this now, some education and getting these kids in some type of rehabilitation program. And hopefully we can salvage that versus the other way which was throwing them away.”“The safety of students and to have a drug free environment are extremely important, so our board’s already made a commitment.”

Original Source: Chris Dietz, ABC News

Drug Testing for Traffice Accidents

Kansas House approves bill to require drug testing in ‘major’ wrecks.

Drivers and passengers involved in “major” traffic wrecks in Kansas would be required to submit to drug testing, if a bill approved by the state’s House becomes law.

State law now allows law enforcement officers to order drug testing, if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person is under the influence.

The House voted 117-5 to forward a bill to the Senate that would require truckers and other drivers, as well as their passengers, to undergo drug testing when they are involved in certain types of wrecks.

Officers would no longer need a presumption of a drug violation to force drivers to submit to the testing.

Supporters say changes are needed to make it easier to test people involved in wrecks resulting in fatalities or serious injuries. The bill would allow law enforcement to collect evidence for potential criminal prosecutions, they say.
Opponents say it is unconstitutional to force someone to submit to a blood or urine test if there is no probable cause to suspect them of a crime.
A provision added to the bill would permit people to refuse to a test. Taking that route, however, could result in loss of driving privileges.
Another change to the bill would authorize officers to waive the test requirement if they believe the actions of the driver did not contribute to the wreck.
The bill – HB2617 – has moved to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Source: By Keith Goble, state legislative

Drug Testing in Schools

School Drug Testing

Bethlehem Schools Adopt Drug Testing PolicyAnyone looking to work in the Bethlehem Area School District will now have to take a drug test.Monday night, the school board voted to approve a pre-employment drug testing policy.

Starting immediately, new and prospective employees will have to get tested before they can work.

The policy was proposed after Nitschmann Middle School principal John Acerra was arrested on drug charges.

Loretta Leeson: "A drug test doesn't always screen everything but I think we're taking the right steps to at least protecting the children in the district and other employees in the district."One board member has requested looking into testing all employees.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Accuracy of On-site Oral Fluid / Saliva Drug Testing

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

A comparison between instant and laboratory oral fluid analysis among arrestees.
Yacoubian GS; Wish ED.

Research studies that collect biological measures of drug use have traditionally utilized laboratory urinalysis.

Several recent studies have also documented the utility of laboratory oral fluid (OF) analysis.
A new method of drug testing -- instant OF technology -- may offer a quicker, equally accurate alternative to laboratory OF assays.

To date, however, no field studies have compared the two methods.

In the current study, an instant OF test (Avitar ORALscreen (TM)) was administered to adult arrestees surveyed through Maryland's Substance Abuse Need for Treatment among Arrestees (SANTA) study.

Following a research interview, a second OF sample was collected (Avitar ORALconfirm (TM)) and shipped to the manufacturer's laboratory for analysis.

The Avtiar ORALscreen instant OF test was -

96% sensitive and 83% specific for cocaine,

100% sensitive and 75% specific for opiates, and
100% sensitive and 94% specific for marijuana.

Copyright 2006, Haight-Ashbury Publishing

Reference Source: Yacoubian GS; Wish ED. A comparison between instant and laboratory oral fluid analysis among arrestees. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 38(2): 207-210, 2006. (10 refs.)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Drugged Driving

Drivers is Australia who tested positive to drugs in roadside checks have had their results confirmed in a laboratory and will be charged.

Police had to wait until Queensland Health Scientific Services analysed the drivers' saliva samples in its laboratory and confirmed the presence of drugs before they could be charged.
All 10 drivers tested positive to driving while under the influence of methamphetamine.

A 42-year-old man has been summonsed to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on January 31 and a 25-year-old man will appear in the same court on February 11.

Since random drug-testing of drivers was introduced on December 1, 19 drivers have tested positive to drugs, up until midnight on Thursday.

Police are still awaiting laboratory confirmation of the remaining nine test results.

Of the 19 drivers, 17 tested positive to methamphetamine, one tested positive to both methamphetamine and cannabis and one tested positive for ecstasy.

Drug-drivers can be fined up to $1050, lose their licence or face up to three months' jail.
Police hope to saliva-test about 20,000 drivers in the first year of the random roadside drug-testing operations and expect about 300 to test positive to illicit drugs.

The introduction of drug testing comes as Queensland cut its road toll by more than two-thirds for the official holiday period, with four deaths against last year's 13.
Across Australia, 45 people died on the roads this season compared with 62 last year.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Courts Uphold Workplace Drug Testing - Once Again

Alberta Court of Appeal ruling upholds construction workplace drug testing
(Source: Canadian Press)

EDMONTON - Construction and energy companies are happy with an Alberta court ruling that upholds the right of employers to test workers for drugs.

The Alberta Court of Appeal's decision overturned a lower court judgment that said Kellogg, Brown & Root Co. discriminated against a man in 2002 when it fired him from an oilsands project near Fort McMurray after he tested positive for marijuana.

John Chiasson, who admitted to being a recreational pot smoker, filed a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission, which ruled against him. The commission said there needs to be a balance between an individual's human rights and the needs of an employer in protecting others.

But Court of Queen's Bench Justice Sheilah Martin then ruled in his favour. She said he should have been treated the same as someone with a drug addiction, which is considered a disability in human rights case law.
The panel of three Appeal Court justices disagreed. The judges said it is legitimate for Kellogg, Brown & Root to presume that people who use drugs at all are a safety risk in an already dangerous workplace.

"We see this case as no different than that of a trucking or taxi company which has a policy requiring its employees to refrain from the use of alcohol for some time before the employee drives one of the employer's vehicles," the justices wrote.

"Extending human rights protections to situations resulting in placing the lives of others at risk flies in the face of logic."

Kellogg, Brown & Root, one of the largest construction firms in the world, was helping to build an expansion to Syncrude Canada's plant at the time of Chiasson's case and is still active in the oilsands.

Andrew Robertson, a lawyer for the company, said the Appeal Court's decision is important to energy and construction industries.

"It is refreshing to see the Alberta Court of Appeal factor in risk management in safety-sensitive workplaces in a circumstance when there had been a recent focus on human rights issues," he said.

Heather Browne, a spokeswoman for Texas-based Kellogg, Brown & Root, hailed the ruling.
"KBR is a leader in workplace safety, and maintaining that commitment is the company's top priority," Browne said Wednesday.
"The court ruling upholds that commitment and we look forward to continuing our work in that regard."

"This affects a lot of people and it is important. The commission does have a duty to ensure that the rights of all Albertans - both employers and employees - are balanced in this respect."

During the original court case, officials with oilsands giant Syncrude testified that the company's lost-time rate from accidents has dropped in part because of drug and alcohol testing.

Syncrude, Suncor, Albian Sands and other major oilsands heavyweights test their employees for drugs before they are allowed on jobsites.

Kara Flynn, a spokeswoman for Syncrude, said that in a broad sense, the Appeal Court ruling supports the company's drug-testing policy and goals.

"Any judicial decisions that support that are greatly appreciated," she said.

The impact of the ruling is already starting to ripple beyond Alberta's boundaries.
Phil Hochstein, president of the Independent Contractors and Business Association in British Columbia, said while workplace drug testing is common on major projects in Alberta, it is the exception in B.C.

He expects that is going to change.
"I think that workplace testing of construction workers is probably an issue whose time has come," he said from Vancouver.
"I think this case is going to spur more of this jobsite testing, not only on big industrial jobs, but on commercial and institutional jobs throughout the country."