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biochemistry section (BCS)

The Biochemistry Section of the Environmental Health Laboratory Branch (EHLB) provides environmental and clinical analytical services, and leadership in the development of laboratory methods. The Section is a partner in the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program (CECBP), and provides technical assistance and advice to the California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch. The laboratory also serves as a reference laboratory for public health agencies and as a referee laboratory for determining levels of analytes in reference and proficiency materials for biological testing.

The Section maintains a list of laboratories proficient in blood lead analysis (PDF)(for reimbursement by the California Child Health and Disability Program) and a list of laboratories approved to perform cholinesterase testing (PDF) for occupational health surveillance. 

Organization

Biomonitoring

 The Biochemistry Section of EHLB measures chemicals or their metabolites in blood and urine samples from random samples of participants 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.

Biological Testing

The Lead Poisoning Prevention Unit (LPPU) of the Biochemistry Section laboratory can analyze blood and other biological specimens for lead and other heavy metal content.

 Environmental Testing 

 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.

Special Programs

 Cholinesterase Laboratories ​​​​

The EHLB's Biochemistry Section is responsible for maintaining the list of Laboratories Approved for Cholinesterase Testing (PDF) for Occupational Health Surveillance. The list is updated in January and June of each year. For more information, please visit the Cholinesterase Laboratories Information Page.

 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.

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