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SoHT Meeting 2021: Key Outcomes

Published: 30th September 2021

Earlier this month our Senior Reporting Scientist, Angharad John, and Reporting Scientist Jade Huish attended the SoHT (Society of Hair Testing) annual meeting, this year held in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. With considerable discussion across numerous topics throughout the two-day meeting, in this blog we share the key outcomes from this year’s event.

Society of Hair Testing Guidelines

The Society of Hair Testing Guidelines on interpretation were reviewed, with Lextox providing input. The draft review, to be published next year, features guidance that we at Lextox are already adhering to.

Combined EtG and PEth Testing

A key focus area was the use of the hair alcohol marker Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) and the blood alcohol marker Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) in combination for the assessment of excessive alcohol consumption.

The use of these two testing methods combined allows for a better overall picture of alcohol consumption to be identified. This is due to different windows of detection, with Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) being a long term marker and Phosphatidylethanol (PEth), an indicator of more recent alcohol consumption.

Here at Lextox we continue to recommend hair alcohol testing is used in conjunction with other forms of evidence such as blood alcohol tests, clinical assessments and history of alcohol abuse to help obtain a more comprehensive picture of an individual’s alcohol use.

We are able to offer clients Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin, Liver Function and PEth testing to help in the assessment of excessive alcohol use.

The Use of Data

Data was another topic of discussion and how individual laboratory datasets established over time can be utilised. It was revealed that statistical analysis of such data can be utilised to provide an indication of the level of drug/metabolite detected – whether this be a low, medium or high reading. The recommendation that individual laboratories use established datasets is due to this data being more reflective of the location where the testing is taking place, in our case the UK predominately.

Clients should note that, in line with GDPR, Lextox does not and would not share personal details with any third parties.

The Impact of Thermal Hair Straighteners on Samples

At Lextox, our collectors have recently started to obtain information regarding thermal hair straightener use when taking hair samples from donors. At the SoHT 2021 meeting, research into the effects of thermal hair straightener use was a topic that was covered. This will allow us to include further information within our reports.

The team at Lextox will continue to keep clients informed of any updates to the SoHT Consensus and how we are responding as required. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact our team via an email to experts@lextox.co.uk or call 029 2048 4141.

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