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Environmental Health Laboratory (EHL)

About the Environmental Health Laboratory


The mission of the Environmental Health Lab (EHL)  is to provide public health leadership in development of laboratory methods, information, and guidance for the assessment and prevention of indoor and outdoor air pollution, and human exposures to toxic chemicals.

Laboratory Accreditation, Certification, and Ethics 

The EHL has earned distinguished recognition and Accreditation (PDF)   by the American Industrial Hygiene Associationfor more than twenty-five years. EHL is accredited in Industrial Hygiene testing and as a USEPA National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (NLLAP) testing laboratory. EHLB holds a Certificate of Compliance (PDF)  under the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments for performing clinical tests to diagnose environmental diseases such as lead poisoning and exposures to other toxins in the environment.  EHL research and testing activities comply with the Ethical Principles (PDF)  that guide the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control.

Laboratory Organization

The EHL contains the following laboratory units: 

Biochemistry (BC).  Dr. Jianwen She, Section Chief                

This program provides environmental and clinical analytical services, and leadership in the development of laboratory methods. It is a partner in the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program, and it provides technical assistance and advice to the California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch. It also serves as a reference laboratory for public health agencies and as a referee laboratory for determining levels of analytes in reference and proficiency materials for biological testing.  The Section maintains a list of laboratories proficient in blood lead analysis (for reimbursement by the California Child Health and Disability Program) and a list of laboratories approved to perform cholinesterase testing  for occupational health surveillance.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).  Dr. Kazukiyo Kumagai, Section Chief

This program was created in 1983 and was the first state IAQ program in the nation. Assembly Bill 3200 (Tanner, 1982) established the program's statutory mandate to safeguard the public interest through a coordinated and coherent effort to protect and enhance indoor environmental quality in California residences, public buildings, and offices.  The program's mission is to conduct studies related to the causes and control of indoor air pollution in California. See California Health and Safety Code (105400-105430.  The program coordinates IAQ activities among key governmental agencies, academic institutions, and industry stakeholders through the California Interagency Working Group on IAQ. The program provides technical guidance, on behalf of CDPH, on proposed legislation, regulations, and professional standards, as well as information to city and county health agencies and the public.

Outdoor Air Quality (OAQ).  Dr. Stephen Wall, Section Chief

This program conducts applied research, develops innovative analytical methods, and performs complex laboratory analysis to investigate sources of human exposure to airborne toxicants in the outdoor environment. It includes laboratories foci on Inorganic, Organic, and Microscopy, which can do forensic chemistry work on white powders.  It also contains the Emergency Preparedness Unit, which provides “All Hazards Preparedness Training” statewide, and coordinates the Laboratory Response Network-Chemical (LRN-C) response to chemical incidents in California.   OAQ operates the Emergency Mobile Laboratory and the All Hazards Emergency Response Laboratory (AHERL).


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