However, not everyone agrees. According to the president of the National WorkRights Institute, hair analysis is “unreliable,” making it a bad option to replace urinalysis. He added that hair does, in fact, show the presence of drugs, however, “the problem is that hair testing can’t distinguish between the drug metabolizing inside the hair versus outside contamination in the air that gets into a driver’s hair.”
He also claimed it is difficult to clean the hair thoroughly enough to prevent outside contamination that can lead to false positives. Interestingly, some research has shown that individuals with darker hair colors also have a higher rate of false positives for drug testing.
In other words, opponents of the proposed rule change claim that a truck driver might test positive for drug use even in cases where his or her hair absorbed a drug simply by being around someone who was smoking a banned substance.
Amy Witherite explains, “The FMCSA has opened the proposed rulemaking to public comments through February 21, which gives interested parties the ability to comment on whether they believe hair testing for drug screenings should be permitted in the trucking industry.”
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