A group of senators have written a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, urging that federal guidelines for hair-test drug screening standards be expedited—and the American Trucking Associations is all for it. U.S. Senator John Thune (R - S.D.), chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, along with a bipartisan group of senators including John Boozman (R.-AR) Joe Manchin (D.– WV.), Deb Fischer (R. – NE) and Ron Johnson (R.-WI) signed the letter.
“Making sure America’s truck drivers are safe and drug-free is among our highest priorities,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “The inherent advantages of hair testing are clear, which is why the previous Administration’s failure to act – as required by law – was deeply frustrating. That lack of action is having a real impact on the trucking industry.”
Earlier this spring, ATA made a similar request of Price, and Spear recently has met with top officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and urged for a quick release of guidelines for hair testing as a federally accepted method of mandatory drug screening. The FAST Act, signed into law in 2015, required HHS to issue scientific and technical guidelines for hair testing by December 4, 2016 – a deadline that was not met.
“Hair testing provides a longer detection window and is easier to collect and harder to adulterate than urinalysis,” Spear said. “As we’ve explained to HHS, many trucking companies are using urinalysis to meet federal requirements, while also paying the additional cost to conduct hair testing. Federal standards must be updated to include the most effective testing methods.”