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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

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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