HHS Issues Request for Info on Hair Specimen Testing

In late May the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) issued a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the potential use of hair specimens for federally-mandated drug and alcohol testing. This is the first official step to review hair testing as a potentially viable part of federal drug testing programs. The RFI is only going to be open for comments/submissions for 30 days after being published, which given the brevity of the topic and the fact that HHS has another potential rulemaking concerning oral fluid testing out for comment over the same time period, industry is hoping to have this RFI extended to at least 60 days.

The RFI seeks input on questions such as acceptable locations from which to collect hair specimens, the effect of hair treatments on drug concentrations within hair, potential situations where hair testing is acceptable (pre-employment, return to duty, etc.), specimen collection procedures, analytes/cutoff levels in hair, specimen validity, etc.

Industry urges concerned parties to respond to this request from HHS with concrete information on hair testing as well as a request to extend the comment period from 30-days to at least 60-days. We will publish a full notice to our members once the Request for Information has been officially published by HHS in the Federal Register.

For now please view the document at the below link.