Cocaine in hair, saliva, skin swabs,
and urine of cocaine users' children

Smith FP; Kidwell DA
Department of Justice Sciences,
University of Alabama
at Birmingham 35294-2060, USA.
Forensic Sci Int, 1996 Dec, 83:3, 179-89


The concentrations of cocaine and benzoylecgonine (BE) in the hair, saliva, skin secretions, and urine samples of cocaine-using mothers, their children, and other adults living in the same environment were compared. Subjects were screened from urban cocaine dependence treatment patients. Drug using adults had mean hair concentrations of 2.4 ng cocaine/mg hair (range = 0-12.2, sigma = 3.1, 15/16 positive) and 0.39 ng BE/mg hair (range = 0-1.9, sigma = 0.62), compared with children's mean hair concentrations of 2.4 ng cocaine/mg of hair (range = 0-14.4, sigma = 3.8, 22/24 positive) and 0.74 ng benzoylecgonine/mg hair (range = 0-5.4 sigma = 1.3). None of the children's urine specimens (0/22) were positive above 300 ng BE/ml. In contrast, 3/16 adult urine specimens were positive, even though they were enrolled in drug treatment. Saliva had detectable levels of BE for only one child (1/17) and one adult (1/17). Forehead swabs contained measurable quantities of cocaine for most children (19/26) and adults (15/17) and BE for children (7/26) and adults (7/17). Unlike urine results, overall hair cocaine concentrations for adults paralleled those of children and a clear cut-off concentration could not be established to differentiate these two groups.

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