What are adulterants?
Adulteration is the tampering of a urine specimen with the intention of altering the test results, rendering a positive reading into a negative one. Users of illicit drugs have attempted to defeat drug test by adding adulterants to the sample after collection as a way to invalidate the testing procedures. The use of adulterants can cause false negative results in drug test by either interfering with the screening test or converting the drugs present in the urine to other compounds. In addition, some donors try to substitute their specimen with another liquid and others may dilute their specimen by consuming excessive amounts of fluid or by adding water/other liquids to their specimen after collection.
How bad is this problem?
Experts estimate that 4% of the urine samples currently submitted are adulterated and that the problem is only growing. They are easily obtained from magazines, "head shops", and the internet.
Do adulterants work?
Most do not work very well. However some adulterants do affect the results of drug testing. New generations of adulterant products are becoming more effective.
What is the nature of these adulterants?
There are 2 classes of adulterants. For Example:

Household Products
- Water
- Bleach
- Detergents

Commercial Adulterants
- "Stealth" (oxidant)
- "THC-FREE" (acid - pH)
- products designed to dilute the specimen (specific gravity)
What can be done to combat this problem?
Preventative measures include random drug testing (little or no notice before a drug test) and observed collections. Since these aren’t always appropriate measures in all circumstances one of the best ways to identify specimen tampering is to perform specimen validity testing.
How does Specimen Validity testing work?
One of the best ways to detect adulteration is to look for certain characteristics such as pH, Specific Gravity, Oxidants, color and Temperature,

- pH test for acidic or Alkaline products in urine. Normal pH should be in the Range of 4.0 to 9.0. Values outside this range may indicate the sample has been "spiked" or altered

- Oxidants/PCC (Pyridinium Chlorochromate): test for the presence of oxidizing agents such as bleach and hydrogen peroxide. Pyridinium Chlorochromate (sold under the brand name UrineLuck) is a commonly used adulterant. Normal human urine should not contain oxidants or PCC

- Specific Gravity test for sample dilution. The normal range is between 1.003 and 1.030. Values outside this range should be considered adulterated.

- Glutaraldehyde: test for the presence of an aldehyde. Adulterants such as UrinAcid and Clear Choice contain Glutaraldehyde which may cause false negative screening results by disrupting the enzyme used in some immunoassay test. Glutaraldehyde is not normally found in urine; therefore, detection of Glutaraldehyde in urine specimen is generally an indicator of adulteration.

- Nitrite: test for commonly used commercial adulterants such as Klear or Whizzies. They work by oxidizing the major cannabinoid metabolite THC-COOH. Normal urine should contain no trace of nitrite. Positive results generally indicate the presence of an adulterant.

- Creatinine: is a waste product of Creatinine; an amino-acid contained in muscle tissue and found in urine. A person may attempt to foil a test by drinking excessive amounts of water or diuretics such as herbal teas to "flush" the system. Creatinine and specific gravity are two ways to check for dilution and flushing, which are the most common mechanisms use in an attempt to circumvent drug testing. Low Creatinine and specific gravity may indicate dilute urine. The absence of Creatinine (<5mg/dl) is indicative of a specimen not consistent with human urine.


- The Temperature of a urine specimen should be between 91 and 98 degrees Fahrenheit when checked within 4 minutes of collection. Urine that is submitted at body temperature will exceed 90.5 degrees. Temperature below that range is suspect.

- A clear Color may indicate that the sample has been watered down. Unadulterated, normal urine should be pale to Dark Yellow to Amber in color. However, a sample should not be considered adulterated by color alone, but should suspect for closer examination.
How do you interpret the test results?
By comparing the pad color to the color chart on the card provided. The status (normal or Abnormal) will assessed.
What do I do if the sample test positive for adulterants?
Be sure to review your drug testing policy for guidelines on adulterated samples. We recommend you do not interpret The drug test results and either retest the sample or collect another specimen.