on Q.E.D.® Saliva Alcohol Test
1. What does a positive reading look like with the QED®
When a QED® test result is positive, a dark purple color
bar forms within the measurement scale. This color is distinctly
darker than the pink or orange color seen as the sample fills
the device. The color bar on a positive test -- the same color
seen in the QA Spot™ -- develops in 2 minutes.
2. How hard should I press down with the QED® applicator?
Gently apply slow and even pressure when placing the swab
in the entry port. Too much pressure can jam the test. For
best results, gently twist the collector into the entry port
until the cotton touches the red filter pad and then begin
3. What does the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA)
waiver mean for work site testing?
Because work site testing is considered forensic testing,
CLIA regulations do not apply. The waived status for the QED®
Saliva Alcohol Test under CLIA '88 makes testing easier in
hospitals, rehabilitation centers and treatment facilities
where our test is used as an in-vitro diagnostic tool.
4. Does the QED® test measure residual alcohol in the
mouth or is it measuring the alcohol within the entire body
Beverage alcohol (ethyl alcohol) is absorbed directly and
unchanged into a person's body and is evenly distributed throughout
the blood stream and other bodily fluids, including saliva.
The QED® test measures the amount of alcohol in bodily
fluids, commonly called blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC.
Residual alcohol in the mouth just after a person takes a
drink is quickly absorbed, swallowed, or evaporated, and a
person's mouth is "clear" of residuals 10 minutes
after eating or drinking.
5. One customer asked if "using the QED® Saliva
Alcohol Test was just a matter of spitting on to those little
The QED® test does provide laboratory accuracy with on-site
simplicity, but spitting is not polite and we wouldn't want
to support bad manners.
6. When are you going to make a Screening Test Technician
(STT) training video for non-Department of Transportation
While the STT Training Video is DOT-approved and covers the
DOT regulations, it should not be viewed as a "DOT only"
product. Companies with alcohol testing policies would do
well to use the DOT program as a model, in case their program
was ever challenged. Similarly, test technicians should consider
DOT-certification as a way to further validate their ability
to do the testing.
7. How can a company use your Screening Test Technician
(STT) training video to certify an STT if no one at the company
is already certified?
The DOT requires that the STT Training Video Facilitator be
someone with at least one year's experience working as an
STT or training STTs. Without that experience, a Facilitator
must complete a "train the trainer" STT course offered
by OraSure Technologies or an authorized QED Distributor or
8. Can a "facilitator" become certified while
taking a student through the video course?
No. The DOT ruled that STTs cannot certify themselves. However,
once a student is certified, the student can be the facilitator,
and the facilitator becomes the student.
9. How will planned revisions to the DOT Regulations affect
The DOT has released its proposed new rule, the comment period
on which closed April 7, 2000. The DOT is advocating re-certification
for all STTs every two years. OraSure Technologies, Inc. will
continue it's "train the trainer" program for STTs
to help people comply with current and future regulations.
10. Can books in the (Screening Test Technician) STT video
kit be copied?
No. The materials are copyrighted and therefore cannot be
reproduced. It is for that reason we have produced additional
student kits. QED® distributors price extra student kits
inexpensively to encourage additional certification under
11. Will the QED® test react with ketone often found
in the saliva of diabetic patients?
No. Unlike breath analyzers and other saliva tests, the QED®
test is specific to ethyl alcohol and will not cross-react
with acetone and ketone produced by diabetic patients.
12. Will the QED® device work if it is stored at temperatures
outside the range on the packaging?
Storing and using QED® tests at room temperature (15-30ºC,
59-86ºF) insures optimal performance and a full shelf
life. However, the QED® test will work fine if exposed
to temperatures outside that range for limited periods. We
tested the QED® device under a wide range of temperatures
and storage conditions -- simulating the inside of a vehicle
glove box on a hot summer day (about 120ºF) and the lonely
cold of North Dakota in January (about 0ºF). In all cases,
the test performed as it should. Before using a QED® Saliva
Alcohol Test exposed to extreme heat, allow the device to
cool to room temperature; if the QED® device is exposed
to extreme cold, put it into a pocket to warm it up.
13. How can companies using the QED® test in very remote
areas comply with the DOT's requirement that confirmation
tests on positive screening tests must be conducted within
The DOT will accept results of confirmation tests conducted
more than 30 minutes after a positive screening test. Look
to 49 CFR Part 40 section 40.65, paragraph (b). The DOT added
a sentence which directs the Breath Alcohol Technician (BAT)
to simply explain "why?" if a confirmation test
is done more than 30 minutes after a screening test. This
is not a fatal flaw.
14. Why should I buy the QED® Saliva Alcohol Test if
I need an Evidential Breath Testing (EBT) to confirm positive
The QED® test is much less expensive to operate than a
breath test, unless you conduct a very high volume of tests
in a central location. By and large, each test done on saliva
instead of breath saves money. Plus, performing two independent
tests is more legally defensible on the rare occasion an employee
does test positive for alcohol.
15. What are the quality control (QC) requirements for
the QED® test?
Control checks, using OraSure Technologies' QED® ethanol
control solution should be run once per lot number of QED®
tests. CLIA waived status eliminated the need for daily control
16. How do I order?
QED® tests are sold in cases of 100, cartons of 30 and
boxes of 10 tests.