The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory (VDHL)  is a state-of-the-art scientific facility that ensures Vermont’s public health by:

  • monitoring for disease outbreaks 
  • providing emergency response services for biological, radiological and chemical threats 
  • providing environmental testing for food, drinking water and radiation contamination 
  • providing clinical testing for healthcare settings and underserved populations

Our Certificates

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Curious what happened at the VDHL in 2022?  Click our Lab Highlights and find out more! 

We responded to seven outbreaks, increased radiologic air testing and increased drinking water testing accessibility.

2022 Lab Highlights

Our Programs

Information on programs serving the public:

  • Drinking Water testing – The Lab provides various kinds of tests to assess the quality of your drinking water. These tests are available to the public and to municipality and other water system administrators. 
  • Environmental Water testing - The Lab offers tests that assess the quality and health for swim, irrigation and surface waters. 
  • Home Radon testing – The Lab recommends testing your home for radon in the air through at least part of a heating season. We offer long-, medium- and short-term test kits. Radon in water testing is also available. 
  • Rabies testing – When preapproved by the State Veterinarian, the public may send in animals for rabies testing. 

Information for health care providers on available clinical testing:

  • Bacteriology – Bordetella, Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter, E. coli, Chlamydia, Gonorrhoeae, Brucella, Syphilis, and more 
  • Blood Lead – Pediatric testing
  • Mycology and Mycobacteriology – Tuberculosis and fungi testing
  • Parasitology – Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, GiardiaPinworms, and more
  • Virology – Influenza, Norovirus, Hepatitis, HIV, Measles, and more

Information on testing that assures the health and safety of Vermonters:

  • Biological, Chemical and Radiological Threats - serves  as a reference laboratory for the identification and investigation of suspect biothreat, chemical threat, and radiological threat agents. 
  • Environmental Testing -  performs bacteria testing on swim water, investigates suspected legionella outbreaks, and tests environmental samples for naturally occurring and man-made radioactive materials including monitoring Vermont Yankee. 
  • Food Testing - tests for foodborne pathogens during a suspected outbreak, including norovirus and salmonella and more.

Our History

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The Vermont legislature established the “Vermont State Laboratory of Hygiene” in 1898.  It was the third of its kind to be organized in the United States. The Lab was charged with examining water, milk and food products for chemical and bacterial contamination, and to investigate suspected cases of infectious and contagious diseases.

The Lab shared its work with Vermont’s Health Officers’ School in 1899, creating enthusiasm for public health work. 

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In 1963, the Lab implemented a screening program for kidney, heart, diabetes and gout diseases. After a couple of years, the program got a van and the clinics became mobile, traveling to industries, schools and other community locations to test children and adults.

In 2015, the Lab moved to its current location in Colchester. It is a state-of-the-art scientific facility capable of testing highly infectious agents and toxins (ex. Anthrax) in its Bio-Safety Level 3 containment unit. The Lab was at the forefront of testing and whole genome sequencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Our Vision and Mission

Our Vision: To be the most innovative, quality-focused, customer-oriented Public Health Laboratory in the United States.
Our Mission: To promote health and prevent disease by providing:

  • Quality Analytical Services
  • Leadership in Laboratory Science
  • Support to Public Health and Environmental Activities
Contact Us
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For detailed information on how to reach us, please see our Contact Us page.

If you need to reach Customer Service, please call 800-660-9997 or 802-338-4724.

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