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Saliva monitoring system could end the need for the needle

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing a saliva monitoring approach that may prove to be a noninvasive, faster alternative to typical methods for monitoring exposure to harmful chemicals. The technology would rely on easy-to-obtain saliva samples rather than the costly and time-consuming collection and analysis of blood or urine samples. It would determine within minutes whether a person has been exposed to harmful chemicals, which would be especially useful in emergency situations.

The system is designed to be portable and is undergoing bench-scale laboratory testing. It potentially could be used for home and workplace monitoring of trace metals and organics. It also may be applicable to a broad range of drugs and environmental contaminants.

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