Popular Drug Testing Method Producing False Results For Black People, NAACP Says
The NAACP says the unreliable test causes Black people to lose their jobs.
August 07, 2019 at 3:22 pm
The Hampton Branch of the NAACP is claiming a popular drug testing method is producing false-positive results for Black people.
The NAACP claims hair follicle testing is unreliable and causes those who falsely test positive to lose their jobs, according to WTKR.
According to Hampton Branch NAACP President Gaylene Kanoyton, drugs like cocaine latch on to the melanin pigments found in the hair.
“The melanin in the dark hair picks up cocaine; it can pick up anything in our environment, smoke — it picks it up quickly whether you use it or not,” Kanoyton said.
Panelists at a forum on racial disparities Monday said touching a dollar bill with cocaine residue and then touching your hair can lead to a positive result on a hair follicle test, according to 13 News Now.
“It’s like being knocked down. They’re already struggling, they finally get a job, pass all the tests and everything else they need to pass, and all of a sudden this comes back and they can’t get a job because they’re using cocaine, and they’re not using cocaine,” Kanoyton said.
One woman who allegedly falsely tested positive said she started to question herself and friends despite never doing drugs. She said she re-took the test days later and the test came back negative, but she had already missed out on a job opportunity.
She described the situation as "embarrassing" and said she is concerned about how the false-positive result could affect future opportunities.
The NAACP and ACLU said many people have been denied employment for the same reason.
They said they want the Black community to be aware and encourage employers to reconsider their drug testing methods.