The effects of adulterants and selected ingested compounds on drugs-of-abuse testing in urine

Am J Clin Pathol. 2007 Sep;128(3):491-503. doi: 10.1309/FQY06F8XKTQPM149.


Household chemicals such as bleach, table salt, laundry detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, vinegar, lemon juice, and eyedrops are used for adulterating urine specimens. Most of these adulterants except eyedrops can be detected by routine specimen integrity tests (creatinine, pH, temperature, and specific gravity); however, certain adulterants such as Klear, Whizzies, Urine Luck, and Stealth cannot. These adulterants can successfully mask drug testing if the concentrations of certain abused drugs are moderate. Several spot tests have been described to detect the presence of such adulterants in urine. Urine dipsticks are commercially available for detecting the presence of such adulterants, along with performance of tests for creatinine, pH, and specific gravity. Certain hair shampoo and saliva-cleaning mouthwashes are available to escape detection in hair or saliva samples, but the effectiveness of such products in masking drugs-of-abuse testing has not been demonstrated. Ingestion of poppy seed cake may result in positive screening test results for opiates, and hemp oil exposure can cause positive results for marijuana. These would be identified as true-positive results in drugs-of-abuse testing even though they do not represent the actual drug of abuse.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Contamination*
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / urine*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sorption Detoxification
  • Substance Abuse Detection*


  • Illicit Drugs