Position Statements

2012 APHL Hill Day Meeting
APHL Position Statements

​APHL position statements articulate the informed opinion of members on issues affecting public health laboratory practice and policy.



Biosafety in Our Nation's Laboratories: Sunsets November 2020
Biosafety practices in the nation's laboratories must be enhanced through implementing routine risk assessments and standardized training, identification of true risk and best practices, development of consensus standards and guidelines, and improved reporting of exposure events. 

Environmental Health

Policy Regarding EPA Designation of SDWA Principal State Laboratories: Sunsets April 2018
States should continue to designate state public health laboratories as Principal State Laboratories under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Additional Drinking Water Contaminant Monitoring Essential for a Healthy Public: Sunsets December 2017
Environmental and public health laboratories need support from EPA and state drinking water programs to develop analytical methods and monitoring programs for emerging environmental contaminants in drinking water.

Non-Governmental Accrediting Bodies for Environmental Laboratories: Sunsets August 2017
Supports the ongoing role and responsibility of government in the accreditation of environmental laboratories, and therefore opposes privatization of environmental laboratory accreditation.

Food Safety

Use of Non-Culture Assays to Detect Foodborne Infectious Agents: Sunsets February 2017
Advocates that all positive results from non-culture assays used by clinical laboratories to detect foodborne disease agents of public health concern be confirmed through culture-based identification methods, with a focus on increasing specimen submissions to public health laboratories.

Establishing Legal Requirements for the Submission of Enteric Disease Isolates and/or Clinical Material to Public Health Laboratories: Sunsets January 2020
All public health departments are recommended to establish legal requirements for submission of enteric bacterial disease isolates and/or clinical specimens by hospital and clinical laboratories.

Contributions of State and Local Public Health Laboratories in Development, Implementation and Evaluation of Federal Food Safety Initiatives: Sunsets June 2020
Federal agencies should recruit and appoint state and local public health laboratories to national food safety work group and advisory committees and should actively seek input and expertise on national initiatives from this professional community.

Infectious Diseases 

Combating Public Health Threats Using Advanced Technology: Sunsets May 2019
The Advanced Molecular Detection and Response to Infectious Disease Outbreaks Initiative enables public health laboratories to obtain the critical tools necessary to provide their invaluable service to meet the nation’s current and future public health needs.

HIV Rapid Testing: Sunsets February 2017
Supports rapid HIV testing in settings where turn-around time dictates immediate patient management decisions and where clients often do not return for testing results.

Increase in TB Funding for Public Health Laboratories: Sunsets February 2017
Supports increased federal funding for tuberculosis (TB) control that includes specific support for public health laboratories in order to ensure and enhance diagnostic capability and training for laboratorians and public health personnel leading to improved prevention, control, testing and treatment.

Technology Transfer from Federal Agencies to Public Health Laboratories: Sunsets February 2017
States that standardized methods for screening, testing and confirmation for agents of emergent public health significance require the rapid development and transfer of technology and expertise from federal agencies to public health laboratories that serve as the first line of defense.


Consolidation of Information Technology Services: Sunsets December 2017
Advocates for formal agreements between IT leaders and laboratory leaders to assure
successful efficient informatics implementations, networking and interoperability between PHL jurisdictions.

Laboratory Developed Test Regulation

Regulation of Laboratory Developed Tests: Impact on Public Health Laboratories: Sunsets November 2020
Regulatory or legislative approaches to the oversite of laboratory developed tests must preserve the critical and unique work of governmental public health laboratories.

Newborn Screening

Policy Regarding Newborn Screening Residual Dried Blood Spot Specimens: Sunsets August 2018
Supports policies on the retention and use of residual dried blood spot (DBS) specimens
that are transparent, protect privacy, address parental concerns, and promote education and informed public participation.

Newborn Screening Contingency Planning: Sunsets December 2016
Recognizes that all state newborn screening (NBS) systems should have a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) that ensures minimal or no interruption of services.

Newborn Screening Follow-up: Sunsets December 2016
Acknowledges and endorses the follow-up considerations previously published by the American Academy of Pediatrics Newborn Screening Task Force, the Council of Regional Networks for Genetic Services regarding newborn screening systems and Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute.

Parental Consent for Newborn Screening: Sunsets December 2016
Supports the position that state-mandated newborn screening (NBS) should not require parental consent. If state programs elect to utilize the process of informed consent or dissent for screening, such parental consent or dissent should be clearly documented and maintained as part of the infant’s NBS record.

Quality Assurance in the Newborn Screening Laboratory: Sunsets December 2016
Recognizes the intense efforts to assure and sustain the highest quality of testing possible for newborn screening (NBS) for public health programs. Strongly supports the tenets of continuous quality improvement through internal and external quality assurance activities.

The Role of the Private Sector Laboratory in Public Health Newborn Screening Programs: Sunsets December 2016
Supports the position that there is a role for private sector laboratories in the provision of state public health newborn screening (NBS) services.

Performance Standards

Strengthening the Laboratory System Improvement Program: Sunsets August 2017
Supports strengthening of the Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP), which will help fulfill the data requirements for Healthy People 2020 Objective 23-13.

Public Health Preparedness and Response

The Need for a Quality Assurance Program for Kits and Devices Used in the Field to Screen for
Hazardous Biological and Chemical Warfare Agents
: Sunsets March 2018
Opposes the use of biological and chemical warfare agent screening kits and devices for use in the field in the absence of a federally-approved quality assurance program, which encompasses performance verification, field validation, proficiency testing, training and annual competency assessment in the application of these kits and devices.

The Need for Sustained Funding of Public Health Laboratories to Ensure All-Hazard Preparedness: Sunsets February 2017
It is essential that public health laboratories receive sustained funding to acquire and maintain the sophisticated instrumentation, highly trained technical staff and essential infrastructure necessary to ensure their ability to respond to all-hazard emergencies quickly and reliably at any time.


Public Health Laboratory Workforce Shortage: Sunsets January 2017
Supports immediate and continuing actions required to provide and sustain a workforce pipeline producing competent public health, environmental and agricultural laboratory (PHEAL) scientists, managers and directors needed to monitor, detect and control deadly diseases and environmental hazards.

Training By Experts