Accolades for WSLH’s Chemical Emergency Response Team

One of the WSLH’s important duties is being Wisconsin’s primary emergency response laboratory. And as with many of our state roles, our impact is felt far beyond Wisconsin’s borders.

The WSLH is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be a Level 1 chemical emergency response laboratory – 1 of only 10 in the country. In September 2018, the WSLH Chemical Emergency Response Team was honored with two awards from the CDC’s national Laboratory Response Network (LRN) for their work.

The WSLH team received the LRN Award for Excellence in Methodology and Technology Evaluation for their rapid response to the ongoing brodifacoum (anticoagulant rat poison) exposures from synthetic cannabinoid use. The team developed and implemented a quantitative test method for brodifacoum in blood – the first such method developed in the U.S. In addition, the award cited the WSLH team’s work with a biomarker for chlorine exposure and development of reference materials for blood metals and Lewisite metabolite.

The second honor was for CDC COOP Support of the Nitrogen Mustards Metabolite Method. This award acknowledged both testing the WSLH team performed on behalf of CDC when their own capabilities were limited, as well as the team’s efforts to characterize reference materials required by the LRN to perform the nitrogen mustards panel.

The WSLH Chemical Emergency Response Team (front row, from left): Bill Krick and Erin Meinholz holding the CDC awards. Bill and Erin developed the quantitative clinical test method for brodifacoum; Karyn Blake, Meshel Lange and Irvin Palmer; (back row, from left) Matt Roach, Christa Dahman and Noel Stanton.