Society of Hair Testing / Forensic Science International 84 (1997) 3-6
The group met one afternoon to hear selected moderators present their proposals for resolving each issue. The attendees then divided into three groups. Led by the respective moderators, each group discussed its issue in detail. At the end of their respective sessions, the moderators prepared a summary statement of the group's positions. These summaries then served as the basis for another session the following afternoon. Attendees were encouraged to voice their agreement to the statements or to suggest modifications. Point by point the statements were then summarized and a consensus was obtained.2. Legal aspects of hair analysis
2.1. Sample collection
Sample collection should be performed by a responsible authority respecting the legal, ethical and human rights of the person to be tested for drugs of abuse. Hair samples should be obtained in a non drug contaminated environment by an appropriately trained individual, not necessarily a physician. A sufficient amount of sample should be collected so that a repeat analysis or a confirmation analysis by another laboratory can be performed should it be needed.
2. 2. Reference material
Reference material should be produced from hair samples collected from drug users. Homogeneity must be controlled and the best estimate of concentration has to be determined by the average results from reference laboratories' analyses.
2.3. Drivers under drug influence
Hair analysis is not a suitable test to prove driving under the influence of drugs. A positive result should lead to a psycho-medical examination (Italy, Germany),but not to the immediate withdrawal of the driving licence.3. Criteria for obtaining a positive hair test result
It is recommended that the following criteria should be utilized when employing hair as a specimen in testing for drugs:
The positive result of a hair analysis may be used to confirm if a person has used or was exposed to a drug. A negative result does not refute use of or exposure to the drug. To ascertain the time of exposure and the extent of drug use is difficult and needs further research. For some drugs, data now exist which indicate that, in very controlled clinical studies, a positive dose-concentration relationship exists. Hair testing is acceptable for forensic applications:
This document represents the official position of the society for hair testing. The society forbids partial citation of this document. This statement represents the initial step in the creation of a complete set of guidelines for hair analysis. Because of time limitations not every subject could be discussed in sufficient detail. One of these was the applicability and suitability of hair testing for the various legal systems of the countries represented at the meeting. The most extensively discussed point was the introduction of threshold values or cut-offs. Different legal situations in the different countries lead to different questions in court proceedings which require different cut-offs. The society will therefore set up a committee in which every concerned country will be represented by one member. This committee will have the task to develop a list of cut-offs with respect to:
We expect thereby to complete the guidelines which will not only satisfy the requirements of forensic toxicologists, but also the requirements of the different administrations and courts dealing with drug abuse.
Officers of the SHT: Dr. Hans Sachs (President), Dr. Christian Staub (Vice-president), Dr. Pascal Kintz (Secretary), Dr. Michael Uhl (Treasurer).
Conseil d Ádministration (Board of Directors): Dr. Mario Cassani (Italy), Dr.Carmen Jurado (Spain), Prof. Marcello Chiarotti (Italy), Prof. Patrice Mangin (France), Prof. Thomas Mieczkowski (USA), Dr. Yuji Nakahara (Japan), Prof. Manfred Moeller (Germany), Dr. Jordi Segura (Spain), Dr. Irving Sunshine (USA), Prof. Robert Wennig (Luxembourg).
From June 14 to 16, 1999 about one hundred scientists meet in Martigny (Switzerland) for the 2nd Intemationa1 meeting of the Society of Hair Testing. The Society of Hair Testing was established in December 1995, in Strasbourg (France). Since the beginning, Dr Hans Sachs (Munich, Germany) is the President of this 130-member association.
Among the topics that were developed (analytical procedures, pharmacology, racial bias, interpretation of the results ...), Christian Staub (meeting host) proposed to discuss the applications of hair testing in doping control.
Scientific presentations, posters and discussion sessions made significant contributions to the science of hair analysis for doping agents and attendees were encouraged to voice their agreement to the proposed statement or to suggest modifications. Point by point the statements were then summarized and a consensus was obtained.
Hans Sachs, President of the Society
Pascal Kintz, Secretary of the Society