About Laboratory Sciences
The United States Army Public Health Command Region–Europe (USAPHCR-Europe) Laboratory Sciences (LS) group is a full-service laboratory specializing in biological, environmental, occupational health, and public health related analytical laboratory testing. LS' primary mission as DoD's premier forward deployed biological and environmental laboratory is to support the Public Health Programs of the United States National Military Strategy in the United States European Command (USEUCOM), United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), and United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) Theaters of operations. LS applies its unique capabilities to fulfill mission assignments in support of the Department of the Army's and Department of Defense's (DoD) needs.
LS' mission capabilities are founded upon peer reviewed and accepted scientific work, unique forward deployed facilities, and highly talented professional staff. The scientifically sound and legally defensible data generated by LS provide a foundation to help solve and prevent biological, environmental and occupational exposure related public health problems associated with contaminants. LS contributes to the risk assessment process by providing:
- Quality analytical data generated under a world class Quality System
- Consistent, published, peer reviewed and accepted methodology
- U.S. and Host Nation mandated detection levels
- Rapid analysis capability
- Data Quality Objectives (DQO) development and Quality Management services
- Professional response to customer needs
LS has a highly trained professional staff and a proven history of quality and leadership in the analysis of food, water, sediment, sludge, soil, biological, veterinary and industrial hygiene related matrices. LS offers comprehensive services through its modernized facilities and network of accredited contract laboratories.
LS provides biological, veterinary, and environmental analyses to meet a variety of health-risk and compliance based objectives for DoD and its customers. Some DoD customers use Data Quality Objectives (DQO) that require approved Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or standard methods of analysis, such as Purge & Trap Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (P&T GC-MS) for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) or Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for trace heavy metals. Other DoD customers need rapid analysis of deployment or food samples to detect biological and environmental contaminants, which may require modification of sample preparation and analysis methods. These high priority analytical methods of analysis require, in some instances, more stringent sample volume and Quality Control (QC) requirements than that required for many routine analyses. The detection of military-unique trace amounts of certain compounds can be important when classifying or defining the environment for military operations
Whatever the customers' needs; rapid deployment requirements, development of modified or custom analytical methods for military unique contaminants for health risk assessment, LS is prepared to meet the request for analytical services. Medical and scientific professionals use LS data to assess the health risk of biological or environmental contamination on public health related exposures.
Unique Forward Deployed Capability
Rapid analyses capability paired with accurate, reliable, legally defensible data reported at the required detection levels, in a forward deployed facility operating under a world class Quality System make LS a unique part of the USAPHC (Provisional) and the Army Medical Department (AMEDD). At present, about 25,000 samples are collected by our customers and sent to the LS each year, making it the largest non-USA located environmental laboratory in DoD. More than 185,000 individual analytes are reported by LS each year from these samples and are used for national assessment and cooperative programs with other DoD, Federal, and Host Nation agencies. Analytical work destined for LS comes from throughout the USEUCOM, USCENTCOM, and USAFRICON Areas of Operations (AORs).
LS produces scientifically sound and legally defensible data supported by the world class LS Quality System, which mandates each analytical run be comprised of 30% to 50% quality control samples. Additionally, all analytes tested are confirmed by commercially peer-reviewed blind Proficiency Testing (PT) Programs [American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Analytische Qualitätssicherung (AQS), Bio Senate Ltd., Environmental Resource Associates (ERA), Food and Environmental Research Agency (FERA), WSLH Proficiency Testing, etc.] specifically designed to document LS-Europe's credibility in determining substances. DoD has made a substantial investment in instrumentation and professional staff to ensure LS is successful in meeting customer needs.
History of LS
DLS was formed in 1993 by consolidating the Department of Toxicology laboratories and the Environmental Chemistry Division laboratories of the former 10th Medical Laboratory located in Landstuhl, Germany. The need for a full-service forward deployed laboratory with standardized laboratory methods, state-of-the-art Quality Systems, and an infrastructure of trained, qualified personnel resulted in the establishment of the Department of Laboratory Sciences. In May 1996, DLS became the first and only environmental laboratory in the world to be jointly accredited under International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Guide 25 by both American and European Union accrediting agencies. In September 2001 DLS achieved accreditation to the DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2000 standard (replaced ISO Guide 25 and EN 45001) for competency of its testing laboratory services. DLS' Quality Management System (QMS) was registered under ISO 9002:1994 in October 1998 and DLS successfully transitioned its QMS registration to the ISO 9001:2000 standard in 2002. Additionally, in 2002 DLS completed the implementation of its ISO 14001:1996 Environmental Management System (EMS) and received registration of its EMS program. In 2003, DLS successfully completed the rigorous requirements of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and received ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for the Environmental Lead Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELLAP). In 2005 DLS completed re-registration of our EMS to the new 14001:2004 standard and in 2006 DLS successfully completed re-accreditation to the new DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard followed by successfully re-accreditation to the new ISO 9001:2008 standard.
USAPHCR-Europe LS Undergoing Transition
The Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Command directed the integration of the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (USACHPPM) and the U.S. Army Veterinary Command (VETCOM) to create the U.S. Army Public Health Command (USAPHC). The consolidation of the laboratory functions of these two commands into a single laboratory group provided the foundation to bring the new Laboratories' unique capabilities to bear on many difficult challenges related to DoD Public Health issues. The USAPHCR-Europe Laboratory Sciences (LS) group, under the direction of the LS Laboratory Director, became operational on 07 September 2010, upon successful integration of the legacy Department of Laboratory Sciences (DLS) and Veterinary Laboratory Europe (VLE).
USAPHCR-Europe's Laboratory Sciences' national and international accreditations, registrations, and certifications attest to the excellence of our work and clearly demonstrate that LS has achieved a level of "Performance Excellence" commensurate with the Baldrige National Quality Program and the most respected companies of the international business world.
Please contact the Customer Support Division
(CSD) of the Laboratory Sciences group to arrange for our services. CSD will provide submission requirements, forms, sample scheduling, price quotations, analytical procedure availability (e.g., in-house or contract laboratory), sampling protocol information, and do their utmost to ensure your satisfaction.
The LS commitment to Total Customer Satisfaction is reflected both in our Quality Manual and Customer Guide. Together they provide a guide to the total laboratory process that is designed to focus the attention and resources of LS on improving customer laboratory support.