(courtesy NORML News,
Washington, DC: The
US Department of Health and Human Services is launching an investigation
of all 65 federally certified drug testing labs after a case involving
an airline pilot raised doubts about a Lenexa, KS lab's validation process.
LabOne's questionable validation
of urine samples arose during an administrative hearing before the National
Transportation Safety Board for Delta Airlines pilot Doukas Siotkas.
Siotkas was fighting to keep his pilot's license after a July 1999 drug
test showed a creatinine level of zero. Creatinine levels are measured
to verify that a urine sample has not been tampered with and readings of
less than 5 milligrams per deciliter is deemed to be substitution of a
sample. Creatinine levels are typically low for vegetarians, petite
women and people who drink large quantities of water. No further
testing was done on the sample and Siotkas was fired.
During the safety board's
hearing, the Airline Pilots Association challenged the legitimacy of drug
test validation and stated that LabOne only provided whole numbers, rather
than to a decimal point, which is against federal guidelines. The
Federal Aviation Administration allowed Siotkas to keep his license and
he was rehired by Delta.
The Department of Transportation
(DOT) urged the Health and Human Services department to check the validating
protocols for all 65 labs. A DOT spokesman said the agency "is concerned
other labs may have conducted similar tests without completely implementing
all test procedures."
-- END --
Issue #155, 10/13/00
Interview with Governor Gary Johnson | US Demands Bolivian Government Be Inflexible in Coca Negotiations | November Coalition Comes to Washington to Accept Human Rights Award | Follow That Story -- "There Are Other Tulias in Texas" -- WOL Speaks with the Amarillo NAACP | Silence of the Wolves: Drug Policy in the Bush and Gore Campaigns | New Study Shows California Leads Nation in Drug Offender Imprisonment | Department of Transportation Calls for Drug Testing Lab Investigation | Media Scan: Salon.com, PBS Frontline | The Reformer's Calendar
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