While synthetic urine is still legal in most states, some are instituting a synthetic urine ban in an effort to prevent its use for passing drug tests. This exact chemical replica of human urine is so indistinguishable from the real thing that drug-testing labs may be unable to tell the difference.
The motivation behind the ban is identified as public safety, with the assumption that truck drivers and heavy machinery operators may pose a risk if they avoid random drug testing. While the practice of random employee drug testing is of questionable value in preventing drug use on the job, easy access to synthetic urine further reduces its perceived value and cost-effectiveness.
What States Are Banning Synthetic Urine?
At least 18 states have put some legislation in place to ban selling, possessing, or using synthetic urine. The limitations and possible penalties vary by jurisdiction. Some of the affected states include:1
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
What Is Synthetic Urine?
High-quality synthetic urine is available in liquid or powdered form, often packaged with a heating device to ensure the correct body temperature. The products that pass the test mimic urine in these respects:
- Temperature. A sample will be checked for a normal body temperature. Any sample outside the 90-100 degree range will be discarded.
- Color. The sample must be a realistic yellow color that does not appear diluted.
- Smell. An acceptable sample must smell like the real thing.
- pH Level. The sample will be tested for a normal pH level.
- Creatinine Level. A similar level of creatinine to human urine verifies that the liquid is genuine.
Even a local news team was able to demonstrate a 100% pass rate using synthetic urine for three different pre-employment screening labs.2 In short, high-quality “fake pee” gets an all-clear result.
Is It Legal to Drug Test Employees?
Other than some federally mandated drug testing for those in transportation, nuclear energy, or military contracting, each state determines whether employee drug testing is legal and under what circumstances. In many cases, this testing is allowed as long as the employee is made aware of the policies, but some of your privacy rights are protected.
Some states require a reasonable suspicion that the employee is impaired on the job before they can be tested.3 In all cases, except criminal prosecution and probation/parole, it is illegal for you to be watched during the sample collection process, making using synthetic urine a viable alternative for most people.
Pre-employment screenings are allowed in most states, but, if a sample tests positive for drugs, the applicant is rarely given an opportunity to prove that there are legitimate reasons for the result. Jobs and reputations are lost before they are even established. Avoiding the consequences of failing a pre-employment drug test certainly makes using synthetic urine an attractive option.
Protecting Your Rights, Reputation, and Livelihood
Consider these arguments against the ban and its unintended consequences:
Many states have laws in place to protect a medical marijuana or prescription pain patient against job discrimination, and all states must abide by federal laws protecting the privacy of your medical information. However, there is bias against those who fail a drug test, which can go on to hurt your future chances of promotion or transfer. It may be up to you to protect yourself from this social stigma and discrimination.
Medical Marijuana and Decriminalization
Medical marijuana is legal in many states and in others has been decriminalized for adults 21 and older. How are employers handling the results of drug testing if weed is legal?
Here are some factors to consider:
- Disclosing that you are an approved patient means sharing private medical information with your employer.
- A random drug test might negatively affect your employer’s opinion of you when your responsible recreational use is entirely legal.
- Unless your state has specific laws in place to protect your medical or recreational use of cannabis, you may have no recourse against discrimination.
Some states that do offer protection against job discrimination for the legal use of marijuana include:
- New York
- Rhode Island
Privacy Rights And Confidentiality
You may be taking prescription medication for cancer, depression, or a chronic disease, which will trigger a positive test result. Federal statutes including HIPAA and the Americans With Disability Act require that your medical information is kept confidential. The results of a drug test fall under this protected status.
However, when the drug test is done by employers, they obtain access to your private medical results whether you wish to share this information or not. Refusing to sign the release isn’t a viable option. Being called in to explain your legitimate use of pain meds or anti-anxiety pills can feel like an invasion and may cause bias or fuel office gossip. The synthetic urine ban may leave you without options when testing time rolls around.
While federal law requires your employer to keep your test results confidential if you test positive due to a lawfully prescribed drug, how confident are you in their discretion or your ability to fight for your rights in court? If you have any doubts, using synthetic urine to pass a drug test can be a reliable way to ensure your privacy is protected.
Limiting Other Legitimate Uses of Synthetic Urine
There are many good reasons for using synthetic urine. Scientists and manufacturers prefer synthetic urine to the real thing due to its long shelf life and sanitary nature, while gardeners and traditional medicine practitioners have unique uses as well. Bans against this useful product limit all the other applications where a synthetic product is better than the real thing.
What is synthetic urine used for? Just some of the many uses include:
- Calibrating laboratory testing equipment
- Experiments for NASA space missions
- Testing the absorbency of diapers
- Demonstrating the effectiveness of cleaning products
- Repelling animals from gardens and farms
- Training medical students
- Medicinal and cosmetic uses
Providing a Clear Alternative
At the heart of the debate is the question of whether a sanitary drug-free product should be banned based on the possible consequences of one of its intended uses. As long as we have such products available, we continue to have the ability to protect our privacy and prevent job discrimination. Buying synthetic urine products is still legal in most states.
Using a high-quality product from ClearTest will keep your options open and your privacy secure. Whether you are using our synthetic urine to pass a drug test or for scientific research, you can count on our 16 years of experience with a 100% pass rate. When used according to instructions, our synthetic urine will be indistinguishable from urine produced in the body.
We also offer quick and easy-to-use urine additives, which can purify a sample on the spot and are easy to carry. Even if random drug tests are a part of your life, you can live confidently and take back your peace of mind at work or school when you plan ahead and trust the best. Browse our products to find the perfect solution and delivery method for your needs, then stop worrying about the next test!