APHL supports laboratories across the country working to protect people from hazardous contaminants in the environment.

The air we breathe, the water we use, the food we eat, the buildings and neighborhoods we live in – everything around us affects our health. APHL’s Environmental Health Program focuses on the role of public health laboratories in detecting the presence of contaminants – both in people and in the environment.

CDC’s Environmental Health Laboratory supports APHL to improve laboratories’ ability to measure chemicals in people (biomonitoring). Recent work focuses on providing guidance to laboratories wanting to improve or build biomonitoring programs. At the system level, APHL worked with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists to develop a similar guidance, and worked with the National Conference of State Legislatures to develop a best practices report for their respective memberships.

Environmental health laboratories also play an important role in detecting, and therefore responding to, terrorist or other emergency events. APHL works with members participating in CDC’s Laboratory Response Network for Chemical Threat Preparedness, as well as EPA’s Environmental Response Laboratory Network (including the Water Laboratory Alliance).

Regarding the latter, the Water Security Division in EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water funds APHL to enhance the capability and capacity of environmental laboratories to respond to water contamination events. Serving as the organizational nexus for communication, training and policy for environmental laboratories, APHL:

  • maintains strategic partnerships (i.e. state environmental administrators, state health officials, drinking water administrators etc.)
  • participates in national meetings (i.e. National Environmental Monitoring Conference)
  • disseminates relevant information (i.e. Environmental Laboratory Newsletter, Bridges magazine)
  • sponsors trainings to build competency of environmental laboratory professionals and convenes the annual Environmental Laboratory Conference.

For examples of specific activities, please see the Fact Sheet highlighting our work with CDC, as well as the Fact Sheet highlighting our work with EPA.

For more information contact, MEGAN LATSHAW, PHD, MHS Director Environmental Health Programs, 240.485.2768, megan.latshaw@aphl.org