How To Collect A Sample

How to Collect a Cheek Swab

Taking a cheek swab for DNA Comparison testing is simple.  Follow these key steps:

  • Avoid eating, drinking caffeine, or smoking for at least an hour prior to collecting your sample. Do not brush your teeth or use mouthwash for an hour before taking the swab. 
  • Use a new cotton swab (Q-tip). Cut off one end of the swab and throw it away. Use the other end of the swab to take your sample. If you send a double ended swab we cannot tell which end you have used, so always cut off one end and throw it away.
  • When you take a cheek swab for a DNA Comparison or a relationship test you are collecting the skin cells from the inside of your cheek, not your saliva. Do not spit or suck on the swab. The robotic equipment we use is designed to extract DNA from cheek cells as they provide a more concentrated amount of high-quality DNA. Rub the swab firmly against the inside of your cheek moving from front to back for about 20 seconds.
  • Allow the swab to air dry, then place the swab directly into a clean, unused envelope. Never put your swab in a plastic bag. When you put a wet swab in plastic packaging the sample can no longer ‘breathe,’ and mold nearly immediately starts growing. This mold can degrade or destroy the DNA on the swab so much that the DNA can’t be extracted and tested.
  • Label the envelope as “reference swab” and your name and date of collection. 
  • Place this envelope inside the mailing package with your test sample.

Do not touch the cotton end of the swab to anything before you put it in your mouth. Do not allow the cotton end with the sample to touch anything after you’ve taken the sample, for example to do not lay the swab down on the counter or sink before placing into the envelope. Still have questions?  Contact us below or call 800-908-9117.

How to Collect a Stain Sample

We understand that sometimes sending the stained item won’t be possible. A favorite shirt or piece of car upholstery would most likely be noticed it if came up missing. Even if you cannot send the item that contains the stain to us, you can take a sample with a swab and still have the stain itself tested for semen, DNA, or saliva. There are some things you need to be mindful of when taking your sample:

  • You must use a fresh, clean cotton swab, preferably from an unopened package. This will help assure that there is no chance of the sample being contaminated.
  • DO NOT touch the end of the swab you will be using when removing the swab from its package.
  • Cut off one end of the swab and throw away.  Use the other end for taking your sample.
  • If the stain or fluid you want tested is still wet, soak the tip with as much of the fluid as it will absorb.
  • Once the swabs are dry place them in a paper envelope.
  • Label the envelope with your name and date of collection.
  • DO NOT place the swabs in a plastic bag. Sending the swabs in a plastic bag may cause the DNA material to degrade making it useless for testing.
  • If the stain or fluid is dry, moisten the swab with the distilled water before rubbing it across the stained area.
  • DO NOT use tap water as the chemicals used to treat water for drinking can degrade DNA and testing may not be possible.
  • Once your swabs are dry, place them in a paper envelope.
  • Label the envelope with your name and the date of collection.
  • Fill out and return the Sample Submission Form with your sample.  This form must be signed and returned before testing can begin.

Take your envelope (or envelopes if you have more than one) and place in a paper mailer. Send it to us with your Sample Submission Form. Do not place the form in the envelope with the swabs.  Still have questions?  Contact us below or call 800-908-9117.

How to Collect a Hair Sample
 
When you order a test that requires a hair sample, you will be sent a kit and complete collection instructions. Substances take 14-21 days to move into hair, and for the hair to grow out enough to cut for sampling.  We recommend you wait until sufficient time has passed before collecting your sample.
 
  • The best place for cutting a sample is from the nape of neck area or the crown of the head. Select a section of hair that contains approximately 200 hairs, or about the diameter of a pencil. (If you have very thin hair, samples may be taken from more than one location on the scalp.)
  • Wipe your scissors with isopropyl alcohol (not ethyl alcohol) and cut the hair sample as close to the scalp as possible.
  • Place the hair sample inside the foil pouch within the Hair Collection Kit. Place the head hair with the cut end towards the “V’-shaped end of the foil.
  • Fold and close the foil pouch around the hair sample and place it inside the Hair Collection Kit.
  • Fill out the information on both sides of the collection envelope.
  • If you have very short hair (less than one and a half inches) collect hair from various locations on the scalp, making sure to collect enough hairs to measure about the diameter of a pencil.
  • If you are using body hair for your sample, collect the hair with a fresh, unused disposable razor.
  • Swab the razor with isopropyl (not ethyl) alcohol. Again, you’ll need approximately 200 hairs, or the diameter of a pencil.
  • Place the hairs on the foil and fold several times to secure.
  • Place the foil in the envelope and seal.
  • Print and fill out the Sample Submission Form. This form must be signed and returned before testing can begin.

Once you have sealed your sample in the foil and placed it in the envelope, place the envelope with sample in your mailer and return the sample to us.  Be sure and enclose the sample submission form. For the unknown chemicals and toxins test we need two samples.  For the drug test, only one sample is needed.  If you are ordering the metals/minerals test, we will need one gram of hair. Still have questions?  Contact us below or call 800-908-9117.

 

 

Chain of Custody

What is Chain of Custody?

Chain of custody refers to the paperwork trail documenting the way a sample is collected and handled throughout the entire testing process. Since you will be collecting the samples yourself and submitting them privately, the test results you receive may not be admissible in legal proceedings. For results to be admissible in court, the samples must be collected by an unrelated third party such as a hospital, clinic, ME’s office, funeral director, law enforcement, etc. Each person providing a sample must provide proof of their identity at the time of sample collection. They will have to provide legal ID and perhaps have fingerprints taken. Once the appropriate documentation is completed and samples taken, everything is sealed and forwarded to the lab for testing by the third party along with a chain of custody form. This process ensures that the samples have been submitted by the person named, and that they have not been tampered with prior to the lab testing.

For obvious reasons this rigorous identification and handling procedure is not always going to be possible or even necessary. If you’re wanting to satisfy your curiosity about the nature of a sample, chain of custody isn’t always necessary. This doesn’t change the nature or accuracy of the testing being done. The results come from the same accredited lab that does chain of custody testing. The only difference is that the lab cannot certify that the sample came from the person named, or wasn’t tampered with by the person submitting the sample.  Lab results can be taken to law enforcement to show cause that an investigation or enforcement action should be taken.  We cannot make a conclusion as to what weight an agency will give the results, or whether any actions will be taken by any agency.

 

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lab testing for date rape drugs, evidence of poisoning in pets, infidelity semen detection, cremated remains (ashes) for trace amounts of DNA and Poisons or Toxins

Private Lab Results

1067 E US Hwy 24 #293

Woodland Park CO 80863

800-908-9117

Hours:

Monday – Thursday 8:00 to 5:00

Friday 8:00 to 12:00

Saturday & Sunday – Closed

 

Private Lab Results

1067 E US Hwy 24 #293

Woodland Park CO 80863

800-908-9117

Hours:

Monday – Thursday 8:00 to 5:00

Friday 8:00 to 12:00

Saturday & Sunday – Closed

 

Private Lab Results offers a wide menu of testing services that include: infidelity tests, testing hair for date rape drugs, food and water tests for poison, drugs, bacteria, or chemicals, and cremated remains testing.  All our tests are performed by certified labs with years of experience. We understand your need for privacy and discretion, so you need only provide us as much personal information as you are comfortable. Test results can be sent by email, phone, or mail–whatever works best for you.