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In abstinence maintenance programs, for reissuing the driving licence and in workplace monitoring programs abstinence from ethanol and its proof are demanded. Various monitoring programs that mainly use ethyl glucuronide (EtG) as alcohol consumption marker have been established. To abstain from ethanol, but not from the taste of alcoholic beverages, in particular non-alcoholic beer has become more and more popular. In Germany, these "alcohol-free" beverages may still have an ethanol content of up to 0.5vol.% without the duty of declaration. Due to severe negative consequences resulting from positive EtG tests, a drinking experiment with 2.5L of non-alcoholic beer per person was performed to address the question of measurable concentrations of the direct metabolites EtG and EtS (ethyl sulphate) in urine and blood. Both alcohol consumption markers - determined by LC-MS/MS - were found in high concentrations: maximum concentrations in urine found in three volunteers were EtG 0.30-0.87mg/L and EtS 0.04-0.07mg/L, i.e., above the often applied cut-off value for the proof of abstinence of 0.1mg EtG/L. In the urine samples of one further volunteer, EtG and EtS concentrations cumulated over-night and reached up to 14.1mg/L EtG and 16.1mg/L EtS in the next morning's urine. Ethanol concentrations in blood and urine samples were negative (determined by HS-GC-FID and by an ADH-based method).
Institute of Forensic Medicine, Freiburg University Medical Centre, Albertstrasse 9, 79104 Freiburg, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Forensic science international
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