This Drug Test Is Causing False Results Among Black Community

August 8, 2019
Hair follicle drug testing can produce false results among Black people.

iStock / Getty Images Plus

Categories: 

The Hampton Chapter of the NAACP recently held a forum to discuss the racial disparities among hair follical drug testing.

Chapter president Gaylene Kanoyton said that false positive results were causing people in her community to miss out on jobs, according to WTKR.

Kanoyton noted that hair with higher melanin levels can be the cause of a failed test.

“The melanin in the dark hair picks up cocaine; it can pick up anything in our environment. It picks it up quickly whether you use it or not,” she said.

People who don't use drugs or are not around them could even test postive for simply touching a dollar bill that has come in contact with cocaine then touching their hair, WTKR reports.

If a false positive result comes up during a hair follicle drug test, the NAACP suggests that job candidates ask for a re-test using a urine or saliva testing method, according to ABC13.

Candidates can also file Equal Employment Opportunities Commission complaints in the event that the request for a re-test is denied.

"If you’re accused of something that you’re not doing, you can speak up and resources are here to help you,” Kanoyton said.

Follow @WPGC on Twitter and Instagram