Lab Matters Summer 2018 - Page 7

environmental health Unlike members of the non-nuclear public health system who interact frequently during disease outbreak investigations, radiological responders do not often connect with their counterparts at other facilities except in radiological events like the nuclear melt-down in Fukushima. They rarely participate in preparedness exercises for out-of-state or international events. Connections among public health radiation protection, radiation laboratories and federal partners will only improve the speed and accuracy of communications among states. The meeting allowed us to build relationships and discuss the elements of a Memorandum of Understanding to guide radiological public health system responses. Our advice for other environmental health laboratories working to address system issues is simple: talk to people. Talk to your environmental laboratory director PublicHealthLabs @APHL Participants at the WA PHL meeting work together to determine priority items for the WA-OR-CA Memorandum of Understanding for radiological testing and your public health laboratory director who know the system and its participants. Talk with your peers through APHL, the US EPA’s Environmental Response Laboratory Network (ERLN) or other professional organizations. And talk to federal partners to see what resources they can bring to the table. Our environmental health system is held together by clear, concise communication. n Bud Taylor, WA PHL radiation safety officer, provides a tour of the WA PHL radiochemistry testing facilities to meeting participants Summer 2018 LAB MATTERS 5