Jayne Hazon, Richard Poulton, John Sullivan, Alistair Derrick
Alere Toxicology Plc, 92 Park Drive, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 4RY


The 2014 Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) consensus has highlighted EtG as the first choice marker for abstinence assessment and also for proving chronic excessive alcohol consumption in child custody cases. Currently EtG samples are incubated in a sonication bath overnight to extract the analytes from the hair samples, meaning that turnaround time is significantly increased compared to other assays within the laboratory.


  • Key words: Hair grinding, ETG extraction, toxicology, GCMS
  • Aim of the study: Ethyl Glucuronide extraction from hair samples
  • Application: LC-MSMS
  • Sample name: Hair
  • Material: FastPrep-24™ instrument, steel and/or ceramic banded beads
  • Buffer: Deionised water

Protocols & Parameters

  1. Cut 75 mg of hair samples into 3-6 cm sections
  2. Put the cutted hair samples into 2 ml tubes containing steel and/ or ceramic beads
  3. Add deionized water
  4. Load the tubes in the FastPrep-24™ instrument 2 x 1 min at speed setting of 6.0 m/s


Up to 114% Improved EtG Recovery over a Sonicator

More effective grinding for downstream applications

Standard method (chopped hair) vs. Grinded hair


  • The use of a Fastprep-24™ instrument reduce the extraction time for Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) from overnight to just 40 seconds in hair samples.
  • Grinding hair samples with the FastPrep-24™ instrument has a clear advantage over simply cutting hair in terms of EtG recovery.
  • The added cost of consumables and equipment is mitigated by the dramatic reduction in extraction time and improvement in customer service.