SAN ANTONIO -- Sophisticated synthetic urine products are making it more difficult for testing facilities to catch people cheating during routine drug screenings.
According to a recent study from the American Management Association, 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies now require job applicants to take a pre-employment drug test. This has caused a spike in demand for synthetic urine products.
The products are widely available at smoke shops and even some gas stations and usually range in price from $20 to $40.
KENS 5 tested two synthetic urine products at San Antonio-based Fas-Tes Drug Testing.
A Pee-Pack costs around $40 and is advertised as a self-contained medical grade apparatus. The kit includes 2.5 ounces of synthetic urine in a bag with a temperature strip and a nozzle.
The product is designed to be used to beat a test even if a lab technician stays in the room during the screening. Pee-Packs also include a heating pack to help warm the bottle to the right temperature -- between 90 and 100 degrees.
The kit passed the initial drug screening, but an adulterant strip revealed the presence of nitrites, meaning the test subject would not pass.
The other product KENS 5 tested was called Magnum Detox. It comes in a 2-ounce bottle and costs around $20. The kit includes a heating pack and is regarded by industry insiders as one of the most consistent synthetic urine products on the market.
Fas-Tes owner Dave Claflin said his technicians are now taught to read body language, since more and more people try and sneak in fake urine.
Claflin pointed out common signs of someone cheating on a drug test.
"They're overly compliant if we ask them to do something and they go beyond what we ask them to do," said Claflin.
Most synthetic urine products have a soapy smell and appearance if they are shaken. However, most labs do not inspect urine samples for smell and appearance unless it's clearly a fake substance.
Many drug labs now offer hair follicle tests, which detect drug use as far back as 90 days.
These tests cost around $115, which is almost three times as much as a typical urine screening.