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Wed Apr 27, 2016, 06:25 PM

Does anybody know

Does anybody know why someone might blow positive on a breathalyzer when they've had nothing to drink?

28 replies, 1915 views

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Does anybody know (Original post)
notawinger Apr 2016 OP
Trajan Apr 2016 #1
notawinger Apr 2016 #2
DianaForRussFeingold May 2016 #27
Jemmons Apr 2016 #3
Jemmons Apr 2016 #8
sweetapogee May 2016 #10
sweetapogee May 2016 #11
Jemmons May 2016 #12
sweetapogee May 2016 #13
Jemmons May 2016 #14
sweetapogee May 2016 #15
Jemmons May 2016 #16
sweetapogee May 2016 #17
Jemmons May 2016 #18
sweetapogee May 2016 #19
Jemmons May 2016 #20
sweetapogee May 2016 #21
Jemmons May 2016 #22
sweetapogee May 2016 #23
Jemmons May 2016 #24
sweetapogee May 2016 #25
Jemmons May 2016 #26
progree Apr 2016 #4
Electric Monk Apr 2016 #5
notawinger Apr 2016 #6
Electric Monk Apr 2016 #7
cally May 2016 #9
notawinger Jun 2016 #28

Response to notawinger (Original post)

Wed Apr 27, 2016, 06:26 PM

1. Mouthwash?

 

Nyquil?

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Response to Trajan (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 27, 2016, 06:36 PM

2. Hand sanitizer

How about hand sanitizer? Do you know if it can be absorbed through smoking a cigar?

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Response to notawinger (Reply #2)

Sun May 22, 2016, 12:28 PM

27. Try germ-X alcohol-free, foaming, hand-sanitizer

Smells great, too! Germ X Soft Wipes alcohol-free wipes are good,too!

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Response to notawinger (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 01:00 AM

3. What if you have acetone in your breath?

Would the meter react to that?

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Response to Jemmons (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 29, 2016, 02:43 AM

8. Some people seem to think so.

Acetone in the breath is one cause of false blood alcohol concentration (BAC) results from breathalyzers. Readings from such machines are actually only indirect estimates of BAC. A true measure of BAC can only be made from a sample of blood itself.

It is clear from scientific research that acetone exists in the breath of average people. It can be high enough to cause false readings. It can cause conviction of innocent drivers.


http://www.alcoholproblemsandsolutions.org/false-breathalyzer-results-from-acetone/

I should be added that accetone is a breakdown product of d-beta-hydroxybutyrate and/or acetoacetat which is part of your normal lipid metabolism. The acetone loss is extreme if you in cases of ketone accidosis or if you habe physiological ketosis but are lacking in the enzymes that favors the ketones over the non-physiological acetone.

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Response to Jemmons (Reply #8)


Response to Jemmons (Reply #8)

Mon May 16, 2016, 11:44 AM

11. I think

the article confuses high sugars with ketones and low sugars with signs and symptoms of intoxication.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #11)

Mon May 16, 2016, 01:57 PM

12. Hypoglycemia / low blood sugar can lead to a production of the alternative energy substrate

aceto-acetat that is then used by some tissue for fuel. A normal or high level of blood glucose will in most cases prevent this from happening. I dont find the article confused, but perhaps i missed something?

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Response to Jemmons (Reply #12)

Mon May 16, 2016, 09:47 PM

13. so basically what you are saying

is both low blood sugars and high blood sugars produce acetone, which then fool a breathalizer in a patient that has undiagnosed type 1 diabetes?

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #13)

Tue May 17, 2016, 04:21 AM

14. You might misunderstand the hypo part...

It is less confusing if you dont confuse hyperglychemia and hypoglychemia
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is when blood sugar decreases to below normal levels.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoglycemia

If you are not used to medical lingo its an easy mistake to make.

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Response to Jemmons (Reply #14)

Tue May 17, 2016, 07:26 AM

15. OK then

according to Jemmons the answer to my question "is (do) both low blood sugars and high blood sugars produce acetone, which then fool a breathalizer in a patient that has undiagnosed type 1 diabetes?" is yes.

Thank you for the education.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #15)

Tue May 17, 2016, 12:48 PM

16. No. It is still just the low blod sugars that trigger ketones and acetone that will fool the

breathalyzers.

Either you misunderstand hypo as hyper, or I dont know why you would understand high blood sugar to have any effect.

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Response to Jemmons (Reply #16)

Tue May 17, 2016, 03:20 PM

17. low blood sugars

Last edited Tue May 17, 2016, 04:23 PM - Edit history (1)

according to Jemmons, trigger ketones....

This is what you have said: "It is still just the low blod sugars that trigger ketones and acetone that will fool the breathalyzers."

This is of course incorrect, it is high blood sugars that cause ketones. A patient that has untreated type 1 diabetes (and a lack of insulin) will have ketones. That patient will have high blood sugars.

The type 1 patient that takes insulin and doesn't eat enough to cover it will have a low blood sugar. That person may exhibit irrational behavior (ie act drunk) but will not have ketones and thus no acetone. This is in spite of the fact that Jemmons argues to the contrary.

The treatment for ketones (and the associated high blood sugar) in the type 1 diabetic is insulin. This will lower the blood sugar and allow ketones to be removed from the blood.

The treatment for low blood sugars (assuming that the patient is unresponsive) is D-50 or Glucagon. If responsive sugar (glucose).

Now Jemmons, if you would be kind enough to point me in the direction of some kind of medical or scientific journal paper that shows that I'm wrong please do so now. I have access to all of the popular databases.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #17)

Tue May 17, 2016, 04:32 PM

18. You are talking about keto-acidosis which is not just unhealthy but downright dangerous

The thing is that you would never ever experience ketoaccidosis without first having diabetes. So it would be extremely rare for anyone to get into ketoacidosis trigger a false alarm on a breathalyzer and then somehow survive, get well. And still not know about the ketoaccidosis, the diabetes and the acetone. Quite unlikely.

Alcoholism can trigger ketone production of the more normal physiological kind, so that is what is relevant here.

If you are geeky enough to enjoy that sort of thing the "ugly duckling" article is probably the best in-depth introduction to ketogenic diets and nutritional ketosis.

http://coconutketones.com/pdfs/VANITALLIE_NUFERT_ketones_ugly_duckling.pdf


"The postabsorptive serum levels of ketones that
Johnson and associates thought normal should be contrasted
with the dramatically higher concentrations (in
mM/L) of BHB (ca 4.45.5) and AcAc (ca 1.0) that
occur after a week or more of fasting in non-diabetic
obese individuals.12 Among hospitalized patients in severe
diabetic ketoacidosis, initial BHB levels of 23.0
mM/L are not unusual.13"

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Response to Jemmons (Reply #18)

Tue May 17, 2016, 04:54 PM

19. please

stop digging.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #19)

Tue May 17, 2016, 05:13 PM

20. I dont know if this is confusing for you or if you for some odd reason want to suggest that I am

misinforming you. Perhaps you are just trolling in a nerdy way. At any rate I dont understand your problem with any of this. None of this is very controversial and I dont mind revisiting the issue.

You might find people who confuse (nutritional) ketosis with ketoaccidosis, but not people who work with ketosis in connection with say epilepsy.

If you want to maintain that this is hard to understand or controversial, you just miss out on an interesting side of human physiology.

And I still dont mind.

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Response to Jemmons (Reply #20)

Wed May 18, 2016, 10:56 AM

21. ok

Last edited Wed May 18, 2016, 11:51 AM - Edit history (2)

As I'm sure you are well aware, both ethyl (ethanol) and ketones are functional groups. For your convenience, here are the (generalized) functional groups:

Ethyl CH^3CH^2OH
ketones CH^3CH^3O

If you take the time to draw a Lewis diagram of both you will quickly discover that there is a double bond between one of the carbons and the oxygen in the ketone group (C=O), to make the octet without the H atom (because it isn' there. If it were it wouldn't be a ketone).

Hopefully you know that the breatholizer performs a redox reaction to produce acetic acid HC^2HO^2(g) (or better yet CH^3COOH). The instrument (breatholizer) measures the acetic acid.

The big problem with your theory is where does the extra H come from to produce the acetic acid? Keeping in mind that to produce an acid (any acid) one of the reactants need to donate an H ion and this is very unlikely to happen because there isn't one to donate. So, while a high blood sugar produces ketones which may contain acetone (2CO) there isn't any H atoms available to donate and thus make acetic acid. If you could explain how acetone becomes an acid by donating a hydrogen atom it doesn't have then you might have a point. (Hint: the pKa of acetone is 19.2). But alas facts are stubborn and not your friend here.

My opinion is that your looking at this as an individual who is trying to discredit the chemical reaction used by the instrument to measure BAC.


ON EDIT: I forgot to add that if you look at the Lewis structure for the ethyl group then you can clearly see the H ion (attached to the oxygen atom) that is donated to produce the acetic acid that is measured by the breatholizer. Why you insist on trying to make a case for a chemical reaction that even a high school chemistry student can understand is impossible, is a mystery to me.

BTW so as not to confuse you I use the symbol ^ to denote a subscript and = to indicate a double bond (but you should know this).

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #21)

Wed May 18, 2016, 12:28 PM

22. You are reading a lot into my post that there isnt any basis for


Quoting you:
My opinion is that your looking at this as an individual who is trying to discredit the chemical reaction used by the instrument to measure BAC.


Im not.
And none of what i have said is in any way shape or form "my theory".

You seem to reject either:
a) the assumption that accetone will triger a breathalyzer "alcohol alert" or
b) that acetone would be present in relevant amounts.


If your point is that acetone will not trigger false alarms, you should read back a bit see that what I said was that it "might" and that "some seem to think so"....

I have yet to understand why this is an issue for you and what your point is.

All im saying is that the lifestyle of alcoholics and/or drug addicts are know to be associated with a level of malnurishment that gets into ketogenic territory. This link relies on ketones being produced as compensation for low intake of food and/or carbohydrates.

You dont need to be malnourished or starved in that sense to get the extreme levels of ketones seen in keto-acidosis if you have diabetes 1. Its a different chain of events: both nutritional ketosis and keto accidosis has higher than average levels of ketones in the middle, but they have different causes and different consequences. And for those reasons keto accidosis is not relevant for false alarms in breathalyzer tests.





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Response to Jemmons (Reply #22)

Wed May 18, 2016, 12:58 PM

23. you are trying

to make something simple into something complex and it is obvious that you really are unsure of the science involved.

I have shown that acetone cannot produce (through a redox reaction) an acid which is required to produce a reading on a breatholizer (point b. above).

You have stated without any proof that a low blood sugar can produce ketones in sufficient quantity to have an effect. This is absurd. And even if it did, acetone doesn't have the atomic make-up to do what you want it to do.

If the subject of the OP was malnurished then why was he working in a warehouse and smoking cigars?

If the subject of the OP was drinking adult beverages then the breatholizer did it's job correctly (a fair conclusion to draw).

Throughout this entire conversation I keep asking myself why was the BAC test performed in the first place? Why, if the patient had an unmet medical need, was this not being addressed? Why is this information not being disclosed? Your whole argument is literally based on wild guesses and the precise alignment of 3/4 the stars in the entire galaxy at a single point in time. You accuse me of not knowing the difference between hyper... and hypo... when it is obvious that you have no idea what you are talking about. Personally I think you are trying out a novel argument to see what kind of opposition it might face in a scientific debate. Which is fine if you enjoy making yourself look foolish.

So for that reason....

Have a nice day.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #23)

Wed May 18, 2016, 01:43 PM

24. I just like the subject...

You have stated without any proof that a low blood sugar can produce ketones in sufficient quantity to have an effect. This is absurd. And even if it did, acetone doesn't have the atomic make-up to do what you want it to do.


All im saying is that ketone production kicks in when you dont get enough carbohydrates in your diet. Which is common knowledge, not theory.

It might trigger breathalyser alerts as some are suggesting. You seem to think otherwise.

obvious that you really are unsure of the science involved


Not really. Its rather easy not to overstate your own certainty if you are not invested in knowing everything. Hence to use of terms as assuming, might, according to and so on.


alignment of 3/4 the stars in the entire galaxy


Ketone production is someone addicted to hard drugs is not a far fetch.
As for the breatalyzer and false alarms I really couldnt tell.

Im sorry if you feel humiliated by the suggestion that you didnt know the meaning of hypoglychemic, but this is a public forum open to anybody and I have no way of knowing if you are a minor, drunk, crazy, trolling, have asperbers syndrome or are just a bit nerdy apart from what i can learn from what you write. So far you come across as a bit obsessive about obscure details, but perhaps that is just me.






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Response to Jemmons (Reply #24)

Thu May 19, 2016, 12:37 PM

25. i left out

the central carbon atom in the definition of the ketone functional group. I'm surprised you didn't catch it. Had you taken my suggestion to draw the Lewis diagram you would have come back with the statement that everything works out fine, that I haven't proven anything. But alas, you didn't do this because you have zip in the way of knowledge of how BAC is calculated in the field or the chemistry behind it.

Might I suggest a college level general biology and general chemistry class or two? Never too old to learn unless you are anti-science.

Jemmons said: "All im saying is that ketone production kicks in when you dont get enough carbohydrates in your diet. Which is common knowledge, not theory."

Not exactly.

Ketones are formed when there is insufficient insulin to break down the carbohydrates into useable glucose. When this happens, in order for the cells to function (and perform respiration: make ATP, the krebs cycle and so forth), the cell turns to fat for this energy. It is the fat that forms the ketones. A person can eat a 100% carbohydrate diet and still have ketones. Why? because if the individual doesn't have sufficient insulin then the carbs will not be converted into useable energy. Note that there are many reasons why an individual might not have insulin available to perform this function. This is a fact that you in spite of yourself seem to acknowledge. But don't get too puffed up by this admission, you claim to be interested in the workings of the machine used to detect BAC but have no understanding of how or why it works.

What you call obscure details are really basic biology and chemistry. I can't state that I walk around with visions of how BAC is performed in my head. But 30 seconds in a chemistry text and I knew it was a redox reaction. I don't work in the science or health care field, but like you I'm curious and I satisfy that curiosity with a learning experience. On public forums, I tend to stay away from pretending to know what I don't know, this is where we part company.

Take care of yourself.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #25)

Thu May 19, 2016, 02:01 PM

26. Well - if you say so eom

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Response to notawinger (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 01:27 AM

4. Yes, mouthwash will do that, for several minutes

Scope is 8% alcohol. Listerine is 21%.

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Response to notawinger (Original post)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 01:36 AM

5. Eating a couple or six rum balls could do it, depending on the recipe. Why do you ask? nt

 

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #5)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 10:16 AM

6. Rehab

My son is in rehab, he failed the breathalyzer. Alcohol isn't his problem. He swears he didn't drink anything. He had been using hand sanitizer a lot due to working in a dirty warehouse. So was wondering if the sanitizer was absorbed through the cigars and created a false positive.

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Response to notawinger (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 28, 2016, 03:02 PM

7. Ok, then I'd say he was probably drinking and making excuses. That sounds far fetched. nt

 

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Response to notawinger (Reply #6)

Thu May 12, 2016, 10:07 PM

9. You can have false positives

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Response to cally (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 26, 2016, 08:46 PM

28. Thank you

We do believe it was a false positive just not sure from what. The GERD connection is interesting as he does have the condition.

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