Fingernail Drug Test Facts
Fingernails, like hair, are made of the protein keratin and are tested with the same process. The method of screening for drug use in a fingernail test is the five panel, Enzyme Multiple Immunoassay Test (EMIT). The fingernail is put in a chemical solution to rid the nail of external contaminants and is then liquified.
Five drugs are tested for with the qualitative detection of cocaine, amphetamines / methamphetamines (ecstasy), opiates (heroin, morphin),pcp (angels dust,hog) and tetrahydrocannabinol (marijuana, hashish) drug testing in urine. The cutoff levels of the test for cocaine (COC) is 300 ng/ml, methamphetamine (METH) is 1000 ng/ml, opium (OPI) is 300 ng/ml, phencyclidine (PCP) is 25 ng/ml and marijuana (THC) is 50 ng/ml.
Results of a fingernail sample will represent drug use that is approximately 4-5 months from the time of ingestion. Fingernails can be clipped, or, if length does not allow, can be shaved in a safe and pain-free sample collection.