LRN releases information for proposed data collection

The Laboratory Response Network recently released information about a proposed project that could enhance the agency's ability to improve preparedness in response to future biological, chemical or radiological threats.

The LRN, which typically tests simulated samples of biological or chemical agents to ensure proficiency across the network, estimates that a surge event resulting from bioterrorism or chemical terrorism would result in 2,250,000 hours of burden for its staff. The estimated annualized burden for a surge event breaks down to 625 responses per respondent. The burden would be the result of testing between 10,000 and 500,000 samples depending on the length and breadth of a CBRN-related incident.

The public health laboratories in the network also plan to take part in biennial requalification, general surveillance testing results, proficiency testing/validation testing results and a special data call, which would collectively result in an estimated annualized burden of 135,300 hours.

The Laboratory Research Network, which was established by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, invited comments on the proposed collection of information. The network requested that the comments be related to whether the proposed collection is needed for proper performance of the functions of the agency, the accuracy of the agency's burden estimate, ways to enhance the clarity, utility and quality of the information to be collected, and ways to minimize the burden of the information collection.

The LRN's mission is to maintain an integrated national and international network of laboratories to respond to suspected acts of CBRN threats and other public health emergencies.