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Information for Hospitals and First Responders on the Laboratory Response Network-Chemical (LRN-C)

The Laboratory Response Network (LRN) is a network of local, state and federal laboratories that provide the infrastructure and capacity to respond to biological and chemical terrorism and other public health emergencies. The LRN provides a mechanism for laboratories to access additional resources when their capabilities or capacity have been exceeded. The LRN-C is a subset of LRN laboratories that specialize in the detection of chemical agents.  



The mission of the California LRN-C laboratory is to serve in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nationwide network of laboratories that provide surge capacity for the identification of toxic chemicals and their metabolites in human specimens. This mission includes preparing California hospitals, healthcare providers and laboratories to properly collect, package, ship and store clinical specimens during a public health emergency. 



The CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement provides selected laboratories located in U.S. states, territories, and metropolitan areas with support for emergency response. The California LRN-C Level 1 Laboratory is housed in the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Drinking Water and Radiation Laboratory and provides CDC with surge capacity in the event of a public health emergency. This laboratory is able to detect toxic chemicals and their metabolites in human samples including chemical warfare agents (e.g., sulfur and nitrogen mustards, organophosphorus nerve agents), toxins, metals and toxic industrial chemicals. The LRN-C laboratory is equipped with high throughput techniques giving capacity to analyze large numbers of patient specimens if needed. The LRN-C also works with hospitals and other healthcare facilities and first responders in California to maintain capabilities for proper clinical specimen collection, shipping and storage to facilitate response in an emergency. 


For more information about the LRN-C program visit CDC Chemical Laboratory Response Network

For more information about the CDPH Drinking Water and Radiation Laboratory, visit the CDPH DWRL Page


Specimen Collection and Shipping Information:

The CDPH Drinking Water and Radiation Laboratory's LRN-C Level 1 Laboratory website has specimen collection and shipping information, see: http:/   



In an emergency, please contact the CDPH Duty Officer for more information and instructions at (916) 328-3605 or email the

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