Baby soap triggering positive marijuana test
There's a surprising new discovery happening in some newborn babies: positive drug screens, even though the baby and the parents have no drugs in their system.
The new study, published in the journal "Clinical Biochemistry," made a strange discovery involving some newborns. It links babies, body wash and a positive test for pot.
"They have found that there are some baby washes, that they wash the babies with after they first get born, that happen to trigger a positive urine test for marijuana," explained Riley pediatrician Dr. Michael McKenna.
A positive test for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, all caused by soap.
"Yes, it sounds odd at first," Dr. McKenna said.
Researchers found five popular brands of baby wash seemed to trigger the positive test result: Johnson & Johnson's Head-to-Toe, Johnson & Johnson Bedtime Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash, Aveeno Wash Shampoo and CVS Nighttime Baby Bath.
Just a tiny amount of the soap was shown to produce a positive result in the drug screen. But parents should know it is not a health risk. In fact, the baby wash doesn't contain marijuana at all.
Researchers aren't sure why the soap, when it washes off the skin and mixes with the urine sample, causes that result.
"They haven't figured out exactly what the problem is, but they know it's not something that's in the baby's system and it's not something that's acting like marijuana. So it's not like babies are getting high off their baby wash," Dr. McKenna said.
But a positive drug screen can sometimes trigger negative results, namely a visit from social workers or the Department of Child Services.
"I can easily see where this could be a surprise to moms and dads for that matter and maybe lead to some interesting conversations," Dr. McKenna said. "If you feel that the test is wrong then it's okay to stand up for yourself and social work should really be on both of your sides because their goal is to make sure that you and your baby and your family is well taken care of."
McKenna says hospitals will usually do a second, more sensitive and thorough test to confirm results if there's a positive screen for marijuana. In those tests in the study, samples with the soap came back negative.