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

Biosafety

Biosafety in Ou​r 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.

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.​

Sustaining US PHL Capacity for Mosquito-borne Disease Testing: Sunsets October 2022
Public health laboratories (PHLs) must maintain high quality testing capacity to effectively detect and respond to emerging and endemic mosquito-borne diseases relevant to their jurisdiction. 

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.

Laboratory Systems and Standards

Rescind CMS' Nursing Degree Equivalency Determination: Sunsets August 2022

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) should immediately rescind its directive that an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing is equivalent to an associate's or bachelor's degree in a biological science for a high complexity laboratory.

Strengthening the Laboratory System Improvement Program: Sunsets January 2018
Supports strengthening of the Laboratory System Improvement Program (L-SIP), which will help fulfill the data requirements for Healthy People 2020 Objective 23-13.

Newborn Screening

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 Residual Dried Blood Spot Specimens: Sunsets August 2022 
APHL supports the position that public health newborn screening (NBS) programs should be able to store and use residual dried blood spot (DBS) specimens and test results for program activities without requiring parental consent. ​

Newborn Screening Short Term Follow-Up: Sunsets July 2022
Timely, efficient and integrated short term follow-up programs are a critical and necessary component of a successful newborn screening (NBS) system.

Parental Consent for Newborn Screening: Sunsets July 2022
The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) supports the position that public health newborn screening (NBS) should be mandated and should not require parental consent.

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.​

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 PHLs to Ensure All-Hazard Preparedness: Sunsets October 2022
To ensure PHL’s remain at the frontline to respond to all-hazard public health threats, it is essential to our Nations’ preparedness that public health laboratories receive sustained funding to acquire and maintain 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.​