Defenders investigate legal sale of synthetic urine

Clerks admit customers buy product to fake a drug test

SAN ANTONIO – Seeing synthetic urine sold in stores might make the average consumer wonder, "why?" 

But for a customer looking to fake a drug test, it might be at the top of their shopping list.

Using a hidden camera, the Defenders asked store clerks why their customers purchase synthetic urine.

"People use this for drug tests sometimes," said a convenience store clerk.

One clerk at a local head shop admitted that he personally used synthetic urine to beat a drug test.

"These work great though," the clerk said. "I used to be in aviation. I've used it, like, three times."

The website of the brand of synthetic urine our cameras saw for sale most often, Magnum Detox, advertises the synthetic urine as "the way out" of a drug test "without betraying your secret."

KSAT 12 called the company to ask about the product and its intended use, but a company spokesperson would only say "we are an online store" repeatedly and eventually hung up.

Each box of synthetic urine contains a squeeze bottle of yellow liquid with an attached thermometer strip, a rubber band and a hand warmer.

The Defenders put the product to the test at ARCPoint Labs of San Antonio.

The synthetic urine passed a standard drug test.

But Kelly Broome, owner of the lab, said he could detect problems with the look of the sample prior to administering the test.

Broome asked KSAT 12 not to disclose those problems in order not to educate someone who tries to beat a drug test.

"There are some things that we're looking for at all times that we don't want everybody to know we're doing," Broome said. "But there are things that we're looking for so that our tests can't be beaten."

Based on the way the synthetic urine looked, Broome administered an adulterant test to determine if the sample is the real thing, and the synthetic urine failed.

"Its not within the parameters for human urine," Broome said.

Most often, an adulterant test would be done at the request of an employer if the lab tells the employer they have suspicions about the sample.

When asked whether he thinks the sale of synthetic urine should be legal in Texas, Broome said "its hard to say. I'm not a legislator."

The Defenders took the issue to Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-District 116.

"There are lots of reasons to be concerned," said Martinez Fischer, who wasn't aware of the sale of synthetic urine in Texas.

"Something like this is the type of topic that we might be able to insert into a piece of legislation that's already been filed," he said.

As people like Broome look to Texas law for guidance, labs like his remain on the lookout.

"We're going to do everything we can to catch you," Broome said.

Following our initial interview with Martinez Fischer, the lawmaker amended an existing bill to address the manufacturing and use of synthetic urine.

We will share that portion of this story Tuesday at 10 p.m. on KSAT 12.

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