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

Biosafety

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

Biomonitoring: Sunsets April 2020
A crucial tool for assessing population exposure to environmental chemicals, biomonitoring must be integrated into environmental and public health systems across the United States.

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

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.

FDA and the Use of Governmental Food and Feed Testing Laboratories: Sunsets March 2022
 Recommends that the FDA give preference to state and local food and feed testing laboratories for domestic regulatory testing.

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.

Technology Transfer from Federal Agencies to PHL: Sunsets August 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.

Informatics 

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 March 2017
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 March 2017
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 March 2017
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 and Quality Control in the Newborn Screening Laboratory
: Sunsets December 2020
Supports the effort to assure and sustain the highest quality of testing by public health newborn screening programs. As part of its support, APHL endorses the role of the CDC Newborn Screening Quality Assurance Program and urges expansion of its services for disorders screened by state NBS programs.

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.

Workforce

Public Health Laboratory Workforce Shortage: Sunsets January 2018
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.