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The International Resource Laboratories for Iodine (IRLI) Network

Start Date: 2001


The International Resource Laboratories for Iodine (IRLI) Network was established in May 2001 at the Bangkok, Thailand, workshop “Establishing an International Network of Iodine Resource Laboratories.”

The IRLI Network was formed to strengthen the basic monitoring component of universal salt iodization programs worldwide. IRLI Network Laboratories serve as resources to national and regional laboratories for the analysis of iodine in urine and in salt. IRLI Network Laboratories are required to participate in the CDC Ensuring the Quality of Iodine Procedures (EQUIP) Program and to maintain a satisfactory level of performance.

IRLI Network Laboratories perform the following services for their members:

  • Analyze samples
  • Train personnel and facilitate technology transfer to national laboratories
  • Form regional iodine laboratory networks
  • Share information with other regional networks and seek any resources needed to sustain the operation of regional networks
  • Develop technical standards and external quality assurance programs
  • Collaborate with the salt industry and other sectors (such as governments) where appropriate

The IRLI Network is composed of laboratories from various regions of the world:

RegionLaboratory locations
AfricaCameroon and South Africa
The AmericasGuatemala and Peru
Eastern MediterraneanIran
EuropeBelgium, Bulgaria, and Russia
Southeast AsiaIndia and Indonesia
Western PacificAustralia and China


Program achievements include the following activities:

  • Publication of annual updates for IRLI Network Laboratories to highlight the training and technical assistance provided to laboratories in their regions
  • Development of a brochure about the IRLI Network program by the CDC and distribution to interested parties
  • Acquisition of funds from the CDC and UNICEF to purchase generic laboratory supplies and equipment to strengthen the capacity of IRLI Network Laboratories
  • Development of a “Laboratory Guide to the Measurement of Iodine in Urine and Salt, 2003” by the CDC for IRLI Network Laboratories

Future Plans

The CDC plans to maintain the IRLI Network at its current capacity.


The IRLI Network Laboratories coordinating body consistsof representatives from the following organizations:

  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD)
  • The Micronutrient Initiative (MI)
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)

For More Information

For more information about the IRLI Network, e-mail

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