Ethyl glucuronide, ethyl sulfate, and ethanol in urine after intensive exposure to high ethanol content mouthwash

Gary M. Reisfield, Bruce A. Goldberger, Amadeo J. Pesce, Bridgit O. Crews, George R. Wilson, Scott A. Teitelbaum, Roger L. Bertholf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


To determine the degree of ethanol absorption and the resultant formation and urinary excretion of its conjugated metabolites following intensive use of high ethanol content mouthwash, 10 subjects gargled with Listerine® antiseptic 4 times daily for 3 1/4 days. First morning void urine specimens were collected on each of the four study days and post-gargle specimens were collected at 2, 4, and 6 h after the final gargle of the study. Urine ethanol, ethyl glucuronide (EtG), ethyl sulfate (EtS), and creatinine were measured. Ethanol was below the positive threshold of 20 mg/dL in all of the urine specimens. EtG was undetectable in all pre-study urine specimens, but two pre-study specimens had detectable EtS (6 and 82 ng/mL; 16 and 83 μg/g creatinine). Only one specimen contained detectable EtG (173 ng/mL; 117 μg/g creatinine). EtS was detected in the urine of seven study subjects, but was not detected in the single specimen that had detectable EtG. The maximum EtS concentrations were 104 ng/mL and 112 μg/g creatinine (in different subjects). Three subjects produced a total of eight (non-baseline) urinary EtS concentrations above 50 ng/mL or 50 μg/g creatinine and three EtS concentrations exceeding 100 ng/mL or 100 μg/g creatinine. In patients being monitored for ethanol use by urinary EtG and EtS concentrations, currently accepted EtG and EtS cutoffs of 500 ng/mL are adequate to distinguish between ethanol consumption and four times daily use of high ethanol content mouthwash.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-268
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Analytical Toxicology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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