Society Letters

Letter of Support to Congressional Appropriators on the CDC Environmental Health Laboratory

February 27, 2020

To: Honorable Senators Roy Blunt and Patty Murray, the Honorable Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Tom Cole

"Whereas reference intervals for adults are generally reliable, there is considerable inconsistency and large gaps in the ranges provided for children.  It is imperative that reference intervals accurately reflect the physical development of patients from birth through adolescence to adulthood. Accurate and actionable reference intervals are particularly important for our youngest patients, who are often unable to verbally communicate their symptoms.  Unfortunately, most laboratories are unable to obtain enough samples from healthy children to develop their own accurate pediatric reference intervals (PRIs). Fortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the infrastructure in place to address this problem.  Its Environmental Health Laboratory (EHL) could generate the needed reference intervals with clinical samples obtained from its National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  EHL has experience developing reference intervals for chronic disease biomarkers in adults and NHANES has the infrastructure and expertise to collect the requisite specimens from healthy children. Congress recognizes the critical role the CDC can play in addressing this issue."

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