Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Health: Laboratory Sciences

H44 Bureau of Laboratory Sciences

H45 William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute


H44 Bureau of Laboratory Sciences (BLS)
Department of Public Health
305 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-3515
Tel: 617-983-6200
Fax: 617-983-6210
www.mass.gov/dph/bls

The Bureau of Laboratory Sciences provides testing services of high quality, facilitate training of laboratory personnel in new testing technologies, promptly investigate and identify emerging disease outbreaks, and provide expertise to public and private organizations to improve health status. Its testing labs include: newborn screening diagnostic labs, infectious disease labs, drug laboratory, environmental labs. A nationwide system of state-based laboratories complements the clinical laboratory services included in clinical practice and supports prompt diagnosis of diseases, whether of epidemic proportion or rare disease events. These laboratories screen newborns for metabolic diseases; carry out toxicology assessments of blood lead levels and other environmental toxins in children and adults; diagnose sexually transmitted diseases ( e.g., HIV, syphilis, and chlamydia) and tuberculosis, for which partner notification is essential to ensure disease control; test for cholera, salmonella, shigella, E.coli and other infectious or food-borne diseases; monitor threats to the safety of water and food supplies; and are critical to identifying new and emerging problems.


H45 William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute
Bureau of Laboratory Sciences
Department of Public Health
305 South Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Tel: 617-983-6200
Fax: 617-983-6210
www.mass.gov/dph/bls

The William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute houses two bureaus whose mission is disease prevention and surveillance in Massachusetts. The Bureau of Laboratory Sciences provides diagnostic testing and vaccine production and the Bureau of Communicable Disease Control is responsible for infectious disease surveillance and control and vaccine distribution. The State Laboratory Institute tests for the following: Biologic Laboratories, Diagnostic Microbiology, Newborn Screening, Virology and Microbacteriology, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Drug Analysis, and Environmental Laboratories. The biologic laboratories manufacture and distribute vaccines and immune globulin products to physicians in the Commonwealth, free of charge; the diagnostic microbiology laboratory provides testing services for the examination of clinical specimens for infectious diseases; the newborn screening division tests all newborns for treatable metabolic diseases and disorders; the Virology/Microbacteriology Labs provide testing for HIV, TB, measles, Lyme Disease, etc.; and the environmental labs test for toxins, pesticides, etc. Of the many tests performed, a significant volume are to identify newborn diseases, TB, AIDS, rabies, encephalitis, Lyme Disease, influenza, foodborne illness, botulism, and lead poisoning. In addition to these public health functions, the State Lab also performs drug analysis for law enforcement agencies.


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