Newborns' positive dope test mystery solved

Friday 15 Jun 2012 9:38 a.m.

Soap has been blamed for the apparent rise in positive drug tests in newborn babies

Soap has been blamed for the apparent rise in positive drug tests in newborn babies

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By 3 News online staff

A mysterious increase in the number of newborns testing positive for marijuana use has been blamed on certain brands of baby soap.

After nurses at a North Carolina hospital reported the strange rise, researchers found only trace amounts – less than 0.1 millilitres – were needed in order to produce a positive test result for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

The brands Johnson & Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo do not contain THC at all, the researchers assured parents.

"It's not marijuana a in any way, shape or form," study researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler told MSNBC.

"We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused [of drug use]," says study researcher Dr Carl Seashore.

The researchers aren't sure why the soaps trigger positive results. They believe it could be that the soaps contain a compound structurally similar to THC, or that the soaps change the way the test works.

From now on, all positive tests are going to be re-tested for confirmation before social services get involved, reports MSNBC.

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