MOGADORE, Ohio, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Omega Laboratories, Inc. recognizes and applauds yesterday's announcement that the remaining laboratory of those accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for forensic hair drug testing has decided to utilize Enzyme Immunoassay technology. This announcement comes after a decade of disagreement and confusion regarding differing methodologies and proprietary techniques. This change could signal that the hair testing industry has finally come to a consensus on the superiority of Enzyme Immunoassay technology as a screening method for drugs of abuse.
This announcement represents a unity of methodology within the hair testing industry, as all three major workplace hair testing laboratories now use EIA as their screening method of choice. Omega anticipates that this harmonization on screening methodologies will aid in the acceptance of hair testing by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and their Drug Testing Advisory Board (DTAB).
Omega Laboratories has chosen to use Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) technology since its inception in 2000, citing superior accuracy, reliability, and low impact upon the environment. Omega's use of EIA for 12 years has contributed to its position as a leader in the hair testing industry, allowing Omega to be an active and successful participant in worldwide proficiency testing programs. In addition, it has aided Omega in securing prestigious international accreditations and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearances for the company's screening assays.
Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA) is a quick and cost effective biochemistry assay used to identify the presence of substances within specimens. When used for drugs of abuse screening, this technology allows laboratories to efficiently and accurately detect drugs of abuse in hair specimens, which can then be confirmed through GC/MS and LC/MS technology. Since the 1992 publication of a World Health Organization study, which highlights the benefits of EIA technology, EIA has become the prevailing method of choice worldwide.
A common predecessor of EIA is Radioimmunoassay (RIA), which uses radioactive signal to detect substances within a sample. Some members of the hair testing for drugs of abuse industry have continued to market the use of RIA technology, despite widespread knowledge that this practice creates radioactive waste, which raises environmental concerns.
"It is exciting to hear that another laboratory has joined Omega in using Enzyme Immunoassay technology," said Dr. John Vitullo, CEO of Omega Laboratories. "We have used this technology at Omega for over 12 years with great success and we know that the adoption of EIA by our competitors will not only be better for the environment, but will also help to establish equivalence and convergence in hair testing results across different laboratories."
In addition to numerous international accreditations, Omega Laboratories has utilized EIA to receive FDA screening assay clearances for its Cocaine, Methamphetamine, PCP, and Opiates panels, and is the only hair testing laboratory to have documented clearance for Codeine, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone testing.