This post was written by: Channing Puls
On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is informing federal agencies about the laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities (IITFs) that are currently certified to meet the standards of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using urine or oral fluid. It was previously announced that on June 1, the Department of Transportation (DOT) officially approved the use of oral fluid drug testing as an alternative to urine testing for truck drivers. However, for employers to implement oral fluid testing under the DOT’s regulations, HHS must first certify at least two laboratories for conducting oral fluid testing, which has not yet been completed.
According to the latest update published on July 3, HHS has confirmed that there are still no laboratories certified for conducting drug and specimen validity tests on oral fluid samples. The notice states, “At this time, there are no laboratories certified to conduct drug and specimen validity tests on oral fluid specimens.”
Therefore, despite the authorization of oral swab testing by the DOT on June 1, its implementation remains pending until HHS issues the necessary approvals. These approvals include certification of at least one laboratory to test primary samples and at least one additional laboratory to re-test contested samples.
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