I was required to give a urine sample in Fort McMurray, AB whre the initial test came back inconclusive and the sample was sent to Toronto where it was determined that it contained 46 nanograms of thc. My understanding is that the law provides an intial cut off of 50 nanograms but the lab has informed me that they are going to show a positive test result because they said they are a secondary comparison and there acceptable level is 15 nanograms. I feel that since they obviously didn't have the sophisticated measuring equipment in Fort McMurray AB that the Toronto test should be classified as the initial test and the 50 nanogram cut off level should have been used as the exact level had not previously been exactly determined from that sample. Do you agree with this position?
Province/Territory relating to question: Alberta
Nothing at this point, it's just happening now
Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Hi, yes I'm still waiting for an answer. How long as I've paid and it said , answers asap. Thank you.
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.
Thank you Fran.
Hi Fran, how long is this going to take. I've been waiting for several hours now. If I don't get a response, do I get a refund? Thanks
Hi Fran, its Cindy in Fort MacMurray are you there? Do you think you will be able to arrange for an answer to my original question? How much longer do you estimate it will take? If you are unable to provide me with an answer within a reasonalbe time will I get a refund? I need the answer within the next 24 hours to be prepared for Monday. I think that's reasonalbe-don't you? Thank you for your help.
Hello.Sorry for the wait but I only just saw your question. I do not know why it was not posted earlier. This is somewhat a legal question but is more of a chemistry issue. I assume this is for employment. If so, the issue is really what the employer considers what is a positive test result. Do you have a Union? What law do you think discusses 50 nanograms? What is happening on Monday?If we cannot assist you to your satisfaction, you will get a refund.Cheers.Tom
Yes employment and yes I have a union. I believe that the Lab is following the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Test Programs published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration which has a cutoff of 50 nanograms of THC for the initial test and a 15 nanogram cutoff level for the confirmatory test. On Monday the lab in Toronto will sent the results to my employer. I tested 46 nanograms on the confirmatory test in Toronto but it was the first test where the exact amount was determined. If their first test had been just as accurate then I would have passed as the cutoff on the first test is 50 nanograms. Do you understand my question? I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX help.
Yes is is for employment and yes I have a union who will help me. My question is: if the exact number of nanograms was not exactly determined on the initial drug test in Fort MacMurray, but labeled inconclusive, and then the split sample is fully tested in Toronto and a level of 46 nanograms is determined why can't the Toronto test where the exact level is determined for the first tine be called the initial test instead of the confirmatory test?
I think I understand. When the first test was done, was the only result that it was inconclusive as if there could be no evidence at all? I have a chemist in my family that does quality control drug testing for pharmaceuticals. She agrees with my opinion that an inconclusive test in not a test at all. You test again until you can come up with a result. Once you have a result then you can confirm a result. It makes no common sense that you can confirm something inconclusive. It seems obvious that the first lab should have tested again and that the second attempt with a result is the first result. Why are you concerned that your logic and ours will not prevail? Also, why is it that there is a significant cut off difference between any first test and a confirming one? Sorry for the questions but I need to do some research. I do not know if I will find a legal answer if there even is one by tomorrow but I will try.Tom
The difference between the initial test and the confirming test is set out on the Federal Drug Testing protocol followed all over Canada. The exact legal question is this:
If the initial test indicates that the test is over 50 or is deemed inconclusive but is subsequently found out to be only 46 on the confirming test, since 46 is less than 50, shouldn't the law prevent the lab from reporting a positive result because of an obvious mistake in the initial test as 46 should have not shown as positive when 50 is the cutoff limit.
The Lab told me that is not what they do. If it reports positive , or over 50, on the initial test, they test it on a fancy machine and determine the exact level. Then, according to the Federal Drug protocol, they apply the confirmatory test cutoff level of 15.
Obvious severe predjudice for me as the initial test was in error. If the initial testing equipment was working properly the it would have determined the 46 is less than 50 and passed the test.
In law, I'm sure, that the Labs initial test error should not prejudice me. Do you agree?
Let me explain the "law". The first is the contract that the testing lab has with your employer. That is contract law and they have agreed to share information so no other law is going to stop the lab from reporting as they see fit. However, the value of this information to the employer is highly suspect in your case and what they do with that suspect information is the law as between you and your employer.The law is ripe with cases since drug testing became an issue and when it can occur as opposed to privacy and human rights. It is now settled that such tests in certain industries is not a violation of rights but my my opinion of the history is that it assumes things are done correctly. Hence the protocol that you discussed. One of the ways this came to the fore was because Unions in Western Canada agreed to a process that otherwise could be discriminatory. So, your Union should be all over this one. I have read several articles on the topic and although I was learning myself, all confirmed my initial hunches that there is a general assumption of fairness that is emphasized even by the labs themselves. The "fancy" machine is required in that the confirming test must be by a different process. Even you heard that the second procedure is with a positive. From what I have read, Positive or "tampered with" are occasions when a sample is sent to a confirmation test. I have learned about false positives, and even false negatives. I found no one who suggested a confirmation test to see if a false negative was true. As suspected, I found no one who suggests that a confirmation test should be used to clear up an inconclusive test. A few of the articles I read where from labs and we are not supposed to send people to business web sites. However, if you search employee drug testing in Canada, you will find a few and each seems to stress that accuracy is key all bragging that they are the ones who can perform. One did note however that any accusation of inaccuracy will likely result in a grievance which may well be where you are. One article I found interesting and can share follows. The cut off levels have changed since it was written but you will see that the tone is one of absolute integrity and professionalism by labs.http://www.monzir-pal.net/Poisons%20and%20Drugs/Lecture%20material/Drug%20testing%20methods.pdfI was not surprised to even find a couple of old Just Answer questions from people wanting to know if they had to take a test AGAIN when a test was inconclusive. My intuition, personal advice and everything I have read leads me to the opinion that a fair analysis is to test again and not to send an inconclusive test to a confirming test. We do not know if the initial equipment was in error. You could have had an unusual amount of water that day. There could be conflicting medications...the list goes on and on but everything I see indicates the fair procedure is to do the initial test again when you have in inconclusive one. I would also accept the concept that the first step is not counted and only the second one counts. Both concepts speak to the fairness and needed professionalism in such matters. We do not know if the first test was an error. It was inconclusive and common sense tells me that you test again and again until there is a result. If positive or a suspicion of tampering, it goes to review. In my opinion the error is not testing again. So, the law that can help you is your collective agreement and the power to grieve any possible employer over reaction. The obvious is to start all over again which in consultation with your Union you may desire to offer. Or, the employer being reasonable might just accept that the only number they have is 46. These tests even if positive do not prove intoxication at the time of the test or future intoxication. That is why the process must be fair. I thank you for your question. I hope I have assisted. If you need more, just let me know. Good luck. Common sense is on your side. Let the law follow that.Tom
Called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1991