Nova Scotia must review dozens of cases because hair strand drug testing too unreliable

Apparently darker hair absorbs more chemicals and drugs than lighter hair, and women using alcohol based hair care products can make the alcohol portion of the test unreliable.

Nova Scotia has become the fourth known province to suspend or ban the use of drug and alcohol hair testing in child protection proceedings, after New Brunswick, British Columbia and Ontario.

“The department has decided to suspend hair strand testing for child protection cases in Nova Scotia effective immediately,” said department of community services spokeswoman Heather Fairbairn Tuesday.

The move comes in the wake of a 2014 Star investigation into the Hospital for Sick Children’s Motherisk laboratory, which found that prior to 2010, the lab was using a hair test that was not recognized as the “gold standard.”

An independent review deemed the hair test results “inadequate and unreliable” in 2015.

They were used in potentially thousands of child protection cases…

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