Scottish Trace Element & Micronutrient Reference Laboratory

Scotland's specialised laboratory for trace elements and vitamins in health and disease


COVID-19 Update 20/3/20: To manage the impact of COVID-19 on STEMDRL service, it is likely that the laboratory will have to reduce the frequency of assays. This will have an adverse impact on turnaround times and STEMDRL will therefore temporarily suspend its target turnaround times. In order to maintain reasonable service, samples received will be prioritised for analysis according to clinical need for testing in a clinically relevant time frame. The remaining samples will be stored appropriately and analysed as soon as possible depending on staff resources. The situation will be kept under review and information on major changes in service provision will be posted on the STEMDRL website, which will be updated regularly. Please contact us for further information if required.


The Scottish Trace Element and Micronutrient Diagnostic and Research Laboratory (STEMDRL) is in part centrally funded by the National Services Division of NHS Scotland to provide a specialist analytical and advisory service for trace elements and vitamins. The principal aspects of this service are…

• a reliable analytical and interpretative service of trace elements and vitamins for the NHS in Scotland
• analysis of water quality for Scottish renal dialysis units
• monitoring of occupational exposure to toxic elements
• research and audit aimed at improving the services offered

The laboratory is actively involved in a variety of research activities and welcomes collaborative research opportunities.

STEMDRL (formerly STEMRL) participates in the UK SAS (Supra-Regional Assay Service) Trace Element Laboratory Group and is also registered with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to provide blood lead analysis for occupational health monitoring in accordance with the Control of Lead at Work (CLAW) regulations. The activities of STEMDRL are subject to regular accreditation visits by UKAS (UK Accreditation Service).

This web-site provides a guide to the services offered, with useful background information:-


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