Public health laboratory, new accreditation for the toxicology sector of Catania

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New recognition for the Public Health Laboratory of the ASP of Catania.
The Toxicology Laboratory has obtained the accreditation issued by Accredia, the national accreditation body.

In Sicily it is the only Toxicology Laboratory to be accredited.

“This is a prestigious milestone that confirms the high professional and organizational levels achieved by the structure and commits everyone to maintain and increase the already high standards of service provided” says Maurizio Lanza, manager of the ASP of Catania.

This new certification is added to those already recognized by Accredia at the Public Health Laboratory, since 2018, in relation to the analytical techniques performed in the water section, both in the chemical and microbiological sectors.

Accreditation ensures that laboratories have all the requisites required by the standards to carry out conformity assessment activities.
The reports issued bearing the Accredia brand guarantee the reliability, quality and safety of the samples analyzed, for the protection and safeguarding of the citizen, and are also recognized internationally.

“The toxicological analysis laboratories, according to the current legislation, do not have any obligation of accreditation – explains the medical director of the ASP of Catania, Antonino Rapisarda -.
It is therefore a voluntary, conscious and meritorious choice of the entire team of the Public Health Laboratory and its Director, whom I thank, and in particular of the toxicology section which in the last year has concentrated most of its resources precisely for the achievement of this goal “.

The Public Health Laboratory, directed by Salvo Calì, is the only control body in the province of Catania designated by the Sicilian Region for the control of water on the water network, sources of supply, swimming pools, bathing, research and prevention of legionella in the structures receptive and socio-sanitary; and for carrying out toxicological tests on organic matrices.

The structure belongs to the Prevention Department, headed by Antonio Leonardi.
“I congratulate my colleagues – he says – for the hard work done, which we immediately supported and shared.
It is an ambitious result that contributes to raising the overall safety levels in the area and enhances the prevention interventions of the entire Department ”.

To carry out its institutional tasks, the Laboratory is organized into two sections – water and toxicology – where a highly specialized team of 3 medical managers, 2 biologist managers, 7 chemical managers, 8 laboratory technicians and 1 IT operator operates.
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Controls on the waters
In the water sector, approximately 22,000 chemical and microbiological control tests are carried out every year on the water samples received from the 58 Municipalities of the province of Catania, in particular as part of the surveillance activities of the entire water network, of the sources supply, accommodation and social health facilities, recreational and recreational facilities (eg swimming pools).
The bathing areas are also checked during the bathing season.
The water section of the Laboratory has instrumentation for carrying out microbiological tests (incubators, refrigerators, filtration equipment, hood …), an ion chromatograph, a spectrophotometer, a gas chromatograph with mass detector, a coupled plasma optical emission spectrometer.
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Toxicological controls
The toxicology sector carries out approximately 200,000 tests each year on biological matrices (eg blood, urine, hair …), for the determination of substances of abuse, alcohol and drugs.
These assessments are required for purposes:
– clinics: for example by SerT, for patient monitoring; from the hospital in case of overdose, ingestion of drugs or toxic substances …
– legal: by the local medical commissions for license renewals; by the Police Bodies for the application of Articles 186 and 187 of the Highway Code; by doctors competent for the control of workers with jobs at risk and, finally, also by private users who need such controls for personal reasons: requests for adoption, participation in public competitions, release / renewal of firearms etc …

“On the basis of the analytical results – adds Calì – administrative or criminal sanctions may arise which affect the lifestyle and health of citizens in various ways.
This awareness has led us to undertake the accreditation process which represents the official recognition of our reliability, in terms of certainty of the analytical data and competence of the operators, to protect public health and safety and to guarantee the citizens subjected to assessments.
Together with my collaborators, I want to thank my colleagues in Human Resources and the Superintendency for the great work done which contributed to the achievement of this objective “.

The first parameter that the toxicology sector has chosen to submit to accreditation, given the enormous importance that this has at a social and health level as well as the high number of analyzes carried out annually (about 600), is constituted by the dosage of ethyl alcohol.
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The catchment area served by the toxicology sector consists mainly of the province of Catania, but also includes the provinces of Ragusa, Syracuse and Messina for the execution of level II analyzes.

The laboratory uses highly technological instrumentation, which has recently been upgraded also with a view to extending the analytical panel to unconventional drugs of abuse and new substances.
In particular, a high-performance liquid chromatograph has recently been acquired, together with a high-resolution mass spectrometer for carrying out the analysis of level II substances of abuse.
The laboratory is also equipped with two automatic analyzers for level I analyzes; two liquid chromatographs for assessing alcohol dependence and for drug dosages, and a headspace gas chromatograph for the blood dosing of ethyl alcohol.


News from Sicily
2022-08-06 10:33:00

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