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National Children's Study Environmental Sample Analytical Laboratories

Solicitation Number: NIH-NICHD-NCS-09-09
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: National Institutes of Health
Location: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
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Added: Jul 18, 2008 12:46 pm
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) anticipates awarding a contract(s) to an organization or organizations to provide analytical laboratory services for analysis of environmental samples for the National Children's Study (NCS). The anticipated contract type will be fixed unit price with a five to seven year period of performance, including options for additional quantities. Further details will be provided in the Request for Proposals (RFP) to be issued approximately 2 to 4 weeks after the publication of this announcement. This announcement is intended to inform interested offerors of a planned RFP, of important background information, and of some key requirements essential for responding to the RFP.

Background information on the Study is available on the NCS web site The Study is a large, long-term longitudinal study of broadly defined environmental influences on child health and development. The Study's goal is to better understand how these environmental exposures and genetic factors interact to affect children's health and development. It will explore the effects of a broad range of environmental factors, including biological, chemical, physical, and psychosocial environmental influences. Gene expression and gene-environment interaction will be important aspects of the Study. The broad range of outcomes includes but is not limited to: obesity, diabetes and physical development; injuries; asthma; pregnancy-related outcomes; and mental health issues. The Study will include a sample of approximately 100,000 children from throughout the country beginning with early pregnancy or even prior to conception and following each child for a wide range of health and developmental outcomes and environmental exposures until at least 21 years of age.

Biological specimens and environmental samples will be collected throughout the Study. This procurement pertains only to environmental samples (air, water, soil, dust). They are considered precious national resources such that their handling, security, analysis and storage must be subject to the most stringent requirements to preserve their source, identity, quality, and integrity. To the extent that these samples are stable, many will be stored in a repository for an indefinite period of time. However, some environmental samples will require analysis after collection because of either analyte instability or research findings which suggest a need for analysis, such as for a case control study. This procurement pertains to the environmental samples that require immediate analysis (generally within 14 to 30 days from sample collection). These samples will be collected from households and perhaps other locations periodically throughout the NCS. Environmental samples to be analyzed as part of this acquisition include particulate matter and gaseous air pollutants collected onto filters and passive samplers, dust wipes, and tap water. The classes of environmental analytes being considered for analysis in this acquisition include, but are not limited to: carbonyls, haloacetic acids, air oxidants, particulate matter, pyrethroids, and volatile organic compounds. Analytes which may be requested in the future in vacuumed dust, dust wipes, and soil include allergens, elemental carbon, endotoxins, metals, mold, semi-volatile organic compounds, and others; though these analytes are not part of the current acquisition. More detail about the design and methods for the NCS can be found in the Research Plan on the NCS web site

The environmental laboratory(ies) shall perform the following tasks: (1) receive, secure, analyze, and report all NCS samples sent to them; (2) maintain samples and records in appropriate secure storage facilities that will retain their identity, integrity and quality (until results have been reported and QA/QC deemed appropriate); (3) package and ship some residual environmental samples and processed samples for repository storage and subsequent additional analysis; (4) develop and maintain a quality assurance program for all laboratory operations including personnel management, and sample receipt, analysis, shipment and storage according to all Federal, State, and local regulations; (5) maintain an automated electronic tracking system to receive, inventory, process, and track samples, a system that is compatible with the NCS Information Management System; and (6) provide electronic data transfer in accord with EPA Staged Electronic Data Deliverable (SEDD), Draft Revision 5.1 format.

Offerors are required to perform all analyses at the laboratory facility(ies) itemized in their proposal. It is preferable that the primary contractor perform as many analyses as possible, in as few locations as possible, for logistic and cost factors. However, given the large quantity of analyses, particularly in the later years of the contract, teaming or use of subcontractors is a possibility. Redundancy within the organization will be viewed as a benefit to ensure capability to analyze the samples according to schedule.

To serve as an environmental analytical laboratory for the Study, interested offerors must have:

i. Experience managing large environmental sample analysis projects.

ii. Experience in receiving, processing, analyzing, and storing, environmental samples such as air sampling filters and passive samplers, water, and household dust wipes,.

iii. Laboratory accreditation by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) Laboratory Accreditation Program, or the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program or equivalent for each proposed laboratory facility (specific physical location/address) for at least two years prior to the contract start date.

iv. Laboratory facilities must be located within the 48 contiguous United States.

The RFP is anticipated to be posted on FedBizOpps (FBO) website:, through the NICHD website:, and the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts website: approximately 2 to 4 weeks after the date of the publication of this announcement. The due date for submission of proposals in response to the RFP is anticipated to be on or about October 7, 2008. Information in the anticipated RFP supersedes any information in this pre-solicitation announcement. This acquisition has been designated as full and open competition under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 541380. Any questions concerning this announcement must be submitted in writing to Lisa Coleman, Contracting Officer, at or Elizabeth Osinski, Contracting Officer, at or addressed to, NICHD Contracts Management Branch, Office of Acquisitions, NIDDK, NIH, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 7A-07, MSC 7510, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7510 (if hand-delivered or sending by delivery service--6100 Executive Boulevard, Suite 7A-07, Rockville, Maryland 20852). No collect calls will be accepted. This is not an RFP and this announcement does not commit the Government to award a contract. The reference number to be used for this announcement is: NIH-NICHD-NCS-09-09. All correspondence must cite the reference number as provided.

Points of Contact

Elizabeth Osinski, Contracting Officer, Phone 301-435-6947, Fax 301-402-3676, Email or Lisa Coleman, Contracting Officer, Phone 301-435-6924, Email

Office of Acquisitions
6700 B Rockledge Room 3214 MSC7612
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7612
Not known

United States
Elizabeth Osinski,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 301-435-6947
Fax: 301-402-3676
Lisa Coleman,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 301-435-6963
Fax: 301-402-3676