​The Laboratory Response Network for Chemical Threats (LRN-C), the chemical component of the Laboratory Response Network, was established in 2003 to prepare and respond to chemical threats. 

The LRN-C links 62 state and local public health laboratories across the US and its territories. These laboratories operate at three levels that indicate their ability to perform various functions during emergency events:

Level 3 laboratories work with hospitals and first responders to collect, package and ship human   samples to other laboratories for confirmatory testing.
Level 2 laboratories test the samples referred from Level 3 laboratories for toxic chemicals and metals.
Level 1 laboratories are able to test chemical warfare agents and to help CDC test human samples during large-scale emergencies.

A True Network

LRN-C laboratories work together as a true network during emergencies and collaborate on multi-state exercises that simulate a chemical emergency. These exercises allow CDC and public health laboratories to test and refine their plans and preparations. Such planning and coordination will translate into lives saved.

LRN-C laboratories have identified heavy metals, chemical terrorism agents such as ricin, pesticides, industrial chemicals, second-hand smoke, and many other compounds. The results of these tests have been used to protect the public from both real threats and the stress of the unknown. All LRN-C laboratories are APHL members.

Insert LRN-C tier egg image from existing LRN  C page – http://emergency.cdc.gov/lrn/chemical.asp

APHL’s Role in LRN-C

APHL advocates for the LRN-C by distributing educational materials to policymakers, members of the public and other key stakeholders to expand awareness of the utility and versatility of the LRN-C. The resources below are made available for this purpose. 

Additional Information

Information on LRN-C Level 1 Meetings.


LRN-C (members only) 


CLIA Inspection Guidance for LRN-C, Radiobioassay & Biomonitoring Laboratories
CLIA Inspection Checklist for LRN-C, Radiobioassay & Biomonitoring Laboratories
CLIA-Compliant Analytical Method Validation Plan and Template for LRN-C Laboratories