So Many Options for Alcohol Test Kits
From home to business, there are many uses for alcohol test kits. In the home, kits are invaluable for parents concerned about the safety and welfare of their children. They are also helpful for adults to determine their own alcohol level before driving. Alcohol testing kits for the home can give results in as short a time as 2 – 4 minutes. In business situations, alcohol test kits can lower liability issues, increase productivity, and decrease accident rates. Let’s have a look at the different types of alcohol testing kits that are available.
Digital Alcohol Test Kits
Digitalare what comes to mind most often when thinking about alcohol testers. Accurate and producing instantaneous results, breathalyzers are surprisingly inexpensive, costing less than $100 in many cases. There are two types of sensors, the “heart” of the breathalyzer that actually determines alcohol content. Semiconductor sensors give accurate results up to about 1 1/2 times the legal limit and are the least expensive. Fuel cell sensors are more expensive, but are more accurate at higher alcohol levels. However, breathalyzer results can be thrown off by many substances, including vomit and cigarette smoke. In either case, be sure the breathalyzer you purchase is FDA approved. Otherwise, it’s just a toy.
Saliva Alcohol Test Kits
Another type of alcohol testing kit is the saliva alcohol test. Saliva kits have the advantages of ease of use, low cost, and being relatively non-invasive. It can detect alcohol use from 10-24 hours after consumption. A test strip is soaked with the person’s saliva and gives a result in about two minutes. Saliva tests are not as accurate as other methods, but work well as a screening test or for home use. In business use a positive saliva test should be followed up with a more accurate test.
Urine Alcohol Testing Kits
The third type of test, urinalysis, is extremely accurate and can detect alcohol up to five days after ingestion. Urine tests for alcohol are relatively inexpensive and usually test for other substances, such as narcotics and nicotine. In the case of business use, a urinalysis is the testing method most able to stand up to legal challenges. Urinalysis is an invasive and embarrassing form of testing, but is far and away the most popular test used by employers. However, alcohol isn’t detectable in urine until two hours after ingestion. So someone could put away several shots, have a urine test, and pass. Also, they present a biological hazard when they are being shipped to a laboratory for analysis.
Blood alcohol tests are extremely accurate, but are not available in kit form.
Hair Alcohol Testing
Hair alcohol tests are a fairly recent development. Hair alcohol tests first became available in 2008. They are non-invasive and can detect alcohol consumption months or even years later. However, they are expensive and only work with scalp hair. However, due mainly to their non-invasive nature and the ability to test for alcohol far in the past, the hair test is sure to become more and more popular, especially with employers.
There are so many alcohol test kits available that there is an option available for any conceivable situation.