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Marijuana Screenings? Baby Shampoo Tests Positive!

Strange news out of Chapel Hill where doctors routinely tested infants to see if they had any marijuana in their systems.  The officials apparently took urine samples and they were finding that a lot of babies were testing positively for marijuana.  They figured that was odd so they started testing things they were using in the hospital that might corrupt the findings and guess what?  Baby shampoo and baby washes were showing up as positive for marijuana when no marijuana was there!

Here is a bit of the news story-  The hospital was testing for….

11-nor-delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (THC), the main chemical component of marijuana. The nursery had observed an increase in the number of urine screens positive for THC without confirmatory positive results from meconium screens.

To investigate the reasons for the false positives, the researchers mixed drug-free urine samples with commercial baby soaps and hand washes routinely used in the nursery and screened them using immunoassay methods. What they found is that several commercial baby soaps caused a measurable, dose-dependent positive response on the THC immunoassay. Foaming hand soap did not react with the assay.

Chemical surfactants in the baby washes that interfered strongly with screening results included polyquaternium 11, cocamidopropyl betaine, and a mixture of PEG 80, sorbitan laurate, and cocamidopropyl betaine.

Isn’t that interesting?

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