Information on the suitable choice of a laboratory
Measurement results from biomonitoring are used for assessment of occupational risks posed to employees. Therefore, company doctors should only entrust carefully selected labs with the laboratory analysis.
Information on the lab selection is available in paragraph 2, section "5.1 Quality assurance" of the Occupational Medicine Rule on "Biomonitoring" (in German language)
"The general requirements on the expertise of laboratories apply to the implementation of the analysis. If doctors make use of analytical services in the scope of biomonitoring, they must verify that the laboratory they commission has the appropriate expertise and equipment, and that it applies the latest quality assurance methods. The doctors can assume that the results determined by an external laboratory are valid if this laboratory holds a valid certificate proving successful participation in appropriate inter-laboratory tests, for example, the German Society for Occupational and Environmental Medicine e.V."
Under point 3.3 "Analytical Determination" and point 3.4, "Quality Assurance" of its Occupational Health Guideline "Biomonitoring" (2013), the German Society for Occupational and Environmental Medicine e.V. (DGAUM) provides tips on the choice of a laboratory:
"When selecting an analytical laboratory, it is necessary to ensure that the laboratory
"[...] Upon request of the company doctor and/or the occupational physician, every laboratory must be able to present its applied methods and quality assurance measures in a transparent and clear way. [...]"
No list of laboratories which offer analyses of samples especially for the area of occupational biomonitoring is currently available.
You can, however, use a list of biomonitoring laboratories which has been compiled for the use of biomonitoring in the field of civil protection.
The list of laboratories is provided in Müller, M. and Schmiechen, K.: Human Biomonitoring in Civil Protection. Research in Civil Protection. Volume 16 (2012), publisher: Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, page 129-131.
"2.2 List of HBM laboratories
The [...] list of laboratories sorted alphabetically by location should make the search for a suitable laboratory for HBM analysis easier. It does not make any claim to be complete and can be supplemented at any time. It does not amount to any an assessment of the institutions; among others, the selection was made on the basis of regular participation in inter-laboratory tests. [...]"
An updated version of this list is provided on the website of the Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine of the University of Göttingen.
© Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health