New cut-off levels for saliva drug testing Australian Standards AS/NZ 4760:2019
The Australian / New Zealand Standards AS/NZS 4760 for saliva drug testing has recently been updated and contains a few changes to the requirements for accredited testing for drugs of abuse in oral fluid (saliva).
The Australian Standards AS/NZS 4760 sets out procedures for oral fluid specimen collection, storage, handling, on-site screening tests and, if required, dispatch to the laboratory. It also covers applicability of oral fluid for drug testing and general issues related to drug screening on-site and drug screening and/or confirmation in the laboratory.
The standards was updated just recently on the 11th of March 2019 and contain a number of significant as well as minor changes required to how an on-site test for drugs of abuse is tested, collected, transported and analysed in a laboratory.
We have listed the major impacts below. If you'd like more information, do contact us directly or purchase a copy of the new standards for your own reference.
New cut-off levels for THC (Marijuana / Cannabis)
The cut-off level for THC (also referred to as marijuana or cannabis) is now lower. Previously, anything over 25ng/mL would be considered a positive or non-negative results. This would then need to be referred to a laboratory for confirmation testing. With the latest update, the cut-off level for on-site oral drug testing for THC has been lowered to 15ng/mL.
Additionally, the cut-off level for laboratory testing has also been lowered to 5ng/mL from the previous 10ng/mL. This means that any test detected over 5ng/mL will be considered positive or non-negative.
Addition of Oxycodone as a mandatory test
Oxycodone is a prescription-only, strong pain relief drug. Previously, oxycodone was not required to be tested in workplaces. Under the updated standards, oxycodone must now be tested on all samples. The cut-off level for oxycodone under the Australian Standards is 40ng/mL.
Currently, there are no drug test kits being sold in Australia with this new THC cut-off level and Oxycodone assays available.
Changes to Chain of custody (CoC) forms
Additional consents from the donor will be required in CoC forms, particularly regarding the privacy of results and information around dispute resolution.
Additionally, CoC forms must now capture more information, including the reason for testing, and recording the information on the transport device.
On top of that, any incorrect or missing information on the CoC form will now be considered a 'fatal error'. CoC forms cannot be corrected for fatal errors (such as wrong name or ID, incomplete form, wrongly labelled specimens etc) after the collection has been made.
In cases of fatal errors, the CoC form must be reported as not intact and in this case, it cannot be used as viable evidence in a Court of Law.
Any drug test kit used on-site for testing, transport or collection must have an external laboratory assess the performance of the device to the strict criteria required in the standard. This includes having the new THC cut-off level as mentioned above as well as the additional Oxycodone assay.
If the device has the correct cut-offs and test menu and has passed this assessment, then only will it be 'verified' to AS/NZS4760.
While the drug test kits we carry do not currently fit those criteria, we are already working towards getting suitable devices in. We will certainly keep you updated once we have these in.