Chemical Response Section

About the CRS

The Hawaii Department of Health Chemical Response Section (CRS) is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chemical Laboratory Response Network (LRN-C) Level 2 Laboratory. The CRS is organized into the Laboratory Preparedness and Response Program together with the Biological Response Section.


The CRS provides laboratory support to the State of Hawaii in preventing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from a chemical mass casualty exposure incident such as a chemical terrorism attack, industrial chemical release, or a natural disaster.

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Core Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Test human clinical specimens for chemical threat agents and their metabolites.
  • Partner with emergency response stakeholders.
  • Provide training and reachback services to emergency first responders.
  • Provide guidance to hospitals and clinics on clinical specimen collection, packaging and shipping for chemical emergencies.
  • Coordinate packaging and shipping of clinical specimens to CDC for Rapid Toxic Screen confirmatory chemical testing.
  • Provide secure storage for forensic clinical specimens.

Why test clinical specimens in a chemical mass casualty incident?

Testing blood and urine specimens from victims of a chemical exposure incident helps to positively identify the chemical agent and the extent of exposure. This information is important for managing patient treatment and for relieving anxiety in the “worried well.”  Laboratory test results are also used for law enforcement and epidemiological investigations.

Forms and Instructions

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