About The Biochemistry Section, EHLB
The Biochemistry Section of EHLB measuers chemicals or their metabolities in blood and urine samples from random samples of particpants from the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program (CECBP). The Biochemistry Section is responsible for sample management, the analysis and reporting of metals in blood for CECBP, and for the analysis and reporting of non-persistent organics and their metabolites in urine for CECBP.
The Lead Poisoning Prevention Unit (LPPU) of the Biochemistry Section laboratory can analyze blood and other biological specimens for lead content and other heavy metal content. This service is utilized by public health agencies in California for research and special projects, for confirmation of results reported by other laboratories, and to assist other laboratories in maintaining the quality of their blood lead level testing. The section also acts as a referee laboratory for proficiency testing programs and the Center for Disease Control in setting target values for proficiency testing materials and reference materials for blood lead, other heavy metals, and erythrocyte protoporphyrin.
The unit also evaluates new methods of monitoring the population for toxic metals poisoning and for monitoring human exposure to lead and other toxic metals in California.
The LPPU laboratory is accredited in the USEPA National Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (NLLAP). Environmental testing in the LPPU laboratory supports the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch (CLPPB) of the California Department of Public Health and other public health programs. For commercial laboratories providing environmental lead testing services to the public at large, we recommend contacting a private-sector NLLAP laboratory.
Testing of suspected sources of exposure in cases of lead poisoning may include substances such as paint, soil, dust, and any other environmental sample commonly identified as sources of lead exposure. In cases where these typical sources of lead are ruled out, county and state public health organizations may submit samples of less commonly tested potential sources of lead such as: candies; ceramics; plastic ware; mini blinds; herbal medicines or home remedies; and other more unique items to the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch for analysis at the LPPU laboratory. California Department of Public Health and FDA Alert warnings were issued as a result of investigations and testing done at the LPPU laboratory.
Special Projects, Cholinesterase Laboratories
The EHLB's Biochemistry Section is responsible for maintaining the list of Laboratories Approved to Perform Cholinesterase Testing (PDF) for Occupational Health Surveillance. The list is updated in January and June. of each year.
California Blood Lead Proficiency Assurance Program (CBLPAP)
The EHLB's Biochemistry Section is responsible for maintaining the list of laboratories proficient in blood lead analysis for reimbursement by the California Child Health and Disability Program (CHDP). CBLPAP monitors the proficiency of Blood Lead Laboratories (PDF) and updates the list three times a year.