Blood Testing

PEth – the most accurate blood test to determine excessive alcohol use for family courts is now available in the UK, within three working days – only through Cansford Laboratories

What is PEth Testing?

Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) uses a ‘dry blood spot’ that is taken for analysis at a laboratory.   Known as PEth testing, it offers a modern, sensitive alternative to traditional methods of blood testing for alcohol. 

PEth is a very specific alcohol biomarker and provides the highest sensitivity for the detection of current regular alcohol consumption. It is particularly effective for detecting chronic and heavy drinking where it is critical in settings such as the monitoring of doctors, child custody or drink driving violations.

PEth enables the discrimination of heavy versus moderate or occasional drinkers, and can monitor abstinence within the past 28 days. Age, gender, health or previous alcohol issues do not impact on the results.

What you need to know about blood testing:

Detection window:

  • Approximately 30 days


Substances tested for:

  • Phosphatidylethanol (PEth)


Collection method:

  • Via a finger prick using a compact device, a convenient technique for collection, transport, and storage.  A number of blood drops need to be collected in a specially designed collection kit. A trained collector will guide the donor through the simple ‘pin-prick’ process.


  • Until recently, venous blood (obtained by venipuncture) measuring indirect markers; was the specimen of choice for measuring alcohol misuse. The indirect markers used can be subject to contributory factors, such as other medication used.   PeTH is more accurate, much easier to collect, yet no more expensive than traditional blood tests.


  • Alcohol testing a PEth blood sample provides a view of the last 28 days of consumption. If for a longer period, a hair alcohol test can cover up to six months of consumption.

Why Cansford Labs for PEth Testing?

At the forefront of Research and Development for drug and alcohol testing, we are the only UK laboratory to have invested in developing PEth testing in-house to provide a more accurate and less invasive form of blood testing of alcohol levels. 

Because we carry out PEth testing ‘in-house’ Cansford is able to provide the same guarantee turnaround as our hair testing service – within three working days of receipt –  meaning NO delays through the use of external labs. Most PEth testing is currently is conducted in international laboratories.

As the only provider of ‘in-house’ PEth testing in the UK, no other laboratory can offer the same turnaround guarantee for combined PEth and hair testing and reporting.

The Science. What is PEth?

Phosphatidylethanol (PEth)  only forms in the presence of Ethanol, meaning it is a direct marker for alcohol intake. This makes is a more sensitive indicator than existing markers of CDT, LFT and FBC.

PEth can be detected for up to a 28-day period.

PEth is eliminated from the body in about 30 days, meaning the window of detection is often given as one month.

Collection of both a hair and blood sample can compliment each other to show comparisons or differences between recent and long-term alcohol use.

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