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Chemosphere. 1997 May;34(9-10):1945-53.

Biological and environmental specimen banking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724, USA.


Scientific programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encompass diverse public health interests. These programs include investigations of newly emerging infectious diseases, assessments of chronic disease risk factors, and evaluations of environmental health hazards. Since the early 1960s, CDC has maintained a specimen bank to retain aliquots of biological specimens collected from a variety of epidemiologic investigations as well as from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). CDC's National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) also maintains a repository of environmental materials from its investigations. To extend its repository capabilities more effectively, CDC has begun developing a new facility that, when finished, will meet CDC's storage needs for both biological and environmental specimens. A highly complex but very flexible information management system for this project, enabling the storage of data related to studies for which these specimens were originally collected, has already been completed. Proper specimen collection, archiving, and short- or long-term storage of specimens for environmental health-related analyses is critical for the work of the staff of the Division of Environmental Health Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, who perform a variety of biochemical analyses on biological specimens, including quantitation of dioxins, furans, coplanar PCBs, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, metabolites, essential and toxic trace elements, vitamins, and lipids, and also conduct genetic screening. Information regarding these analytes is an essential part of the CDC Repository Database.

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