A new Drug Testing & Analysis study reveals that measuring levels of ethyl sulphate (EtS), a metabolite of ethanol, in the hair can be used to assess alcohol consumption. In the study, researchers developed a method that was successfully applied to quantify EtS in hair samples from patients treated for alcohol use disorders.
The window of detection of alcohol consumption can be extended through the use of hair as a matrix. Also, compared with more traditional matrices (such as blood and urine), hair is easier to collect, transport, and store.
“EtS in hair shows potential as a direct biomarker for alcohol consumption and should be subject to future research,” said lead author Dr. Delphine Cappelle, of the University of Antwerp, in Belgium.