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The process of nail alcohol testing is similar to hair testing for assessing long-term alcohol misuse. The two techniques are similar in that both nails and hair are made from the fibrous protein keratin. As the nail grows, substances can pass from the blood vessels below the nail into the keratin fibres where they become trapped.

AlphaBiolabs’ nail alcohol testing analyses samples for a specific long-term marker of ethanol (the intoxicating agent in alcohol) called ethyl glucuronide (EtG). These EtG biomarkers become trapped within the keratin fibres along the length of the nail providing an overview of alcohol consumption of up to 6 months.

Why choose nail alcohol testing?

Nail testing is ideal for those cases where hair testing is not possible (such as the donor has no or little hair, for religious reasons, and for those concerned with their appearance).

Sample collection of nails is also quick and easy. The nail needs to be collected as close to the nail bed as possible. Either fingernails or toenails can be used for the test, but not a mixture of both. Approximately 10 mg of nail is required in total.

If a legal nail alcohol test is required, the sample of nail clippings would need to be collected under chain of custody conditions to support legally defensible results. One of our trained sample collectors would be able to make an appointment at a place convenient to the donor.

Because nail alcohol tests only detect EtG, AlphaBiolabs would always recommend that a blood test be taken to provide a greater insight into an individual’s level of alcohol consumption.

AlphaBiolabs also provides breath, blood, hair and round-the-clock alcohol testing via SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring®. For information on any of AlphaBiolabs’ alcohol-testing solutions, please call 0140 29466 or email us at info@alphabiolabs.ie