A threat-detection product company became a finalist for the 2011 Cygnus Law Enforcement Group's Innovation Awards.
Affiniton, formerly Securetec, 49 E. Fourth St., became a finalist in the traffic enforcement category with DrugWipe, which tests sweat, oral fluid and surface residue for some common drugs, CEO Sherry Bender said. The award is for new products or improvement of products in the last year.
DrugWipe tests for the most common drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Affinition, a Williamsport-based drug testing supply company, has won a 2011 innovation award for developing a near-instant saliva test. Chief operating officer Ronald Lassiter, II, left and CEO Sherry Bender hold four tests that the company offers, allowing for four different methods of testing for drug residue, from left, the red test is for testing surfaces, dark blue is universal (combining all other methods,) light blue is saliva only and gray is to test sweat.
Ronald Lassiter II, chief operating officer, said it tests for the drugs that are most often abused.
This was the first year Affiniton entered the competition, but they plan to enter again in 2012.
Lassiter said they worked with their laboratory to design the product.
Each type of the DrugWipe has a specific function. The saliva version is intended for traffic enforcement, while the surface residue test can be used in schools, workplaces or in the home.
"It's something to help parents deter from having drugs brought into the home," Lassiter said. "It's not just the kids. There are outside threats."
Some of the outside threats could be a babysitter or a house guest, he said.
"It's much less invasive than telling your kid to pee in a cup," Bender said. "The product is not very invasive, it's just saying there is drug residue present. We just give the tool to provide more information. It's up to the parent if they want the child tested."
She said parents are limited to only using the surface residue test.
While there can be drug residue on anything, such as currency, the surface area test only detects recent residue. After a while, drug residue will get into the fibers of currency.
Bender said the surface residue test is good for detecting very small quantities of drugs that could go unnoticed.
"Once (the drugs are) on the surface, it's very difficult to pick it up again," she said. "It has to be high enough concentration."
The drug tests are packaged individually and take about five minutes.
"If it's positive in Pennsylvania, the officer would have to take a blood test (from the alleged drugged driver)," Bender said. "The blood and saliva detection window is very slim. You wouldn't want to get a positive with saliva and not with blood because its windows are different times."
Bender said blood and saliva have about a 24-hour window to show drug use. For sweat, there is about a 36-hour window. Urine has about a 72-hour window.
"It depends on the metabolism, how much they took and how potent it is," she said.
For someone who wants a test, Bender said the person can call Affiniton or go through a distributor. She said the business usually handles the tests in the state at the corporate office in Williamsport. There are distributors in other states and countries.
"We have a short training to make sure they know what they're doing," she said.
For more information, visit affiniton.com or call 327-6112.
Affiniton will move from 460 Market St. to 49 E. Fourth St. on Jan. 1.