The detection of drugs using oral fluid / saliva is a more recent development in the workplace drug testing field.

The Australian Standard that covers testing using oral fluid drug testing was first released in 2006 (AS4760: 2006). Collection agencies can apply for NATA accreditation to this Standard but the accreditation granted is currently limited to the collection of samples for laboratory testing due to the unavailability of validated on-site testing devices.

Testing of an oral fluid specimen may be used to establish recent drug use. It is not appropriate to relate the presence of drugs in oral fluid to impairment, but rather, to recent use. When drugs are detected in oral fluid, it suggests the drugs were used within the last 36-48 hours (approximately).

The oral fluid sample can be collected either using an absorbent pad which the donor holds in their mouth for a few minutes, or by the donor delivering oral fluid into the collection vessel supplied by the collector. Approximately 1ml of oral fluid is required to guarantee adequate volume for testing.

When an oral fluid sample requires laboratory confirmation, ToxLogic sends the oral fluid sample to a laboratory accredited to AS4760: 2006. Confirmed laboratory results are usually available within 48 hours of the laboratory receiving the sample.

Limitations of the Oral Fluid testing devices

There are many Oral Fluid testing devices on the market. However, currently there is no testing device available which meets the target levels described in AS4760: 2006.

ToxLogic is always reviewing our existing devices and liaising with manufacturers to test and trial new devices.