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ORAU’s Beryllium Laboratory accredited by College of American Pathologists

Lab is one of only four in U.S. certified to perform beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test

Aug. 12, 2011

Linda Nichols conducts blood test in ORAU Beryllium Lab

Linda Nichols, MS, MT(ASCP) and Beryllium Lab Manager, loads blood samples into a centrifuge that will spin samples to separate the lymphocytes from other blood components. This is the first step in the beryllium lymphocyte proliferation testing process. Click image to enlarge.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—The Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists, or CAP, awarded accreditation again to Oak Ridge Associated Universities Beryllium Laboratory, located in Oak Ridge, Tenn., based on the results of a recent onsite inspection.

ORAU’s laboratory is one of only four in the United States certified to perform the beryllium lymphocyte proliferation test. This test helps to determine if a person has developed sensitization to beryllium, which could evolve into chronic beryllium disease also known in the past as berylliosis.

The laboratory’s director, Donna Cragle, PhD and vice president of ORAU’s Occupational Exposure and Worker Health Programs, was advised of this national recognition and congratulated for the excellence of the services being provided. ORAU’s beryllium laboratory is one of more than 7,000 CAP-accredited laboratories worldwide.

“Recertification is a major achievement for the lab and its staff,” said Cragle. “This continued success is testament to the strict quality standards and meticulous attention to detail exercised every day by our highly capable lab staff led by Linda Nichols, our lab manager.”

In 2010, the lab processed nearly 5,100 tests without a single error.

The federal government recognizes the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, begun in the early 1960s, as being equal to or more stringent than the government’s own inspection program.

During the CAP accreditation process, inspectors examine the laboratory’s records and quality control procedures for the preceding two years. CAP inspectors also examine laboratory staff qualifications, as well as the laboratory’s equipment, facilities, safety program and record in addition to the overall management of the laboratory. This stringent inspection program is designed to specifically ensure the highest standards of care for all laboratory patients. The motto of the CAP inspection team is “every patient deserves the gold standard.”

ORAU’s beryllium lab received CAP accreditation in 2009.

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) is a medical society that serves more than 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance. The college is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective patient care. More information about the College can be found at

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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