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Public Health Laboratories

Public health laboratories are essential to protecting America's health. They perform core public health and environmental activities including the following:

  • The vast majority of public health reference tests
  • Disease prevention, control, and surveillance
  • Population-based interventions
  • Communication with healthcare providers on appropriate patient care
  • Emergency response efforts

Numerous federal and state laws, including laboratory licensure laws, health privacy laws, disease reporting, and newborn screening laws, govern and affect public health laboratories.

Training and Educational Resources

Disclaimer: Information available on this website that was not developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not necessarily represent any CDC policy, position, or endorsement of that information or of its sources. The information contained on this website is not legal advice; if you have questions about a specific law or its application you should consult your legal counsel.


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  • Public Health Law Program (PHLP)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • 4770 Buford Hwy, NE
    Mailstop: E-70
    Atlanta, GA 30341
  • Email PHLP
  • Page last reviewed: April 16, 2014
  • Page last updated: April 16, 2014 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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