Notice of Availability of National Children’s Study (NCS) Vanguard Biological and Environmental Sample Materials
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

June 12, 2020

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NOT-HD-19-004 - NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH) Releases New Functionality for Biospecimen Requests

NOT-HD-20-010 - Notice of Transfer of The National Children's Study (NCS) Archive Materials to the NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH)

Issued by

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)


NICHD is issuing this Notice to alert interested investigators to the availability of biospecimens and environmental sample materials from the National Children’s Study (NCS) Vanguard.

Biospecimens and environmental sample materials from the NCS Vanguard can now be requested through the NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH). The Vanguard study data are available already in DASH.

The NICHD Data and Specimen Hub (DASH) is a centralized NICHD resource for researchers to share and access de-identified data from NICHD-funded research studies for the purposes of secondary research use. DASH also serves as a portal for requesting biospecimens associated with data stored in DASH.

The NCS Vanguard was a pilot study for a planned cohort study of environmental influences on child health and development. Starting in 2009, the study enrolled over 14,000 participants in over 5,000 families in 40 locations throughout the United States and followed them through 2014. It collected more than 14 million records and nearly 19,000 biological and 5,500 environmental primary samples from which a sample repository of over 250,000 items was created. Study visit data span preconception to 42 months post birth. That information and material now are available to approved requesters through DASH.

The newly available NCS sample sources include:

Biospecimens Environmental Samples
Blood Formula-infant
Urine Air-PM2.5 filter
Vaginal Swabs Water-Pesticides
Hair Water-Pharmaceuticals
Nails Dust-Plates
Saliva Dust-Vacuum
Placenta Dust-Wipes
Umbilical Cord
Cord Blood
Breast Milk

Samples are available in limited quantities and for a limited time.

Results from selected laboratory analyses of NCS sample subsets also are available in DASH. Laboratory data from biospecimens include 124,184 assay results from 2,602 unique participants. Analyses were conducted on biospecimens collected from mother, father, and child participants at pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth, and up to 36 months post-birth study visits, and include testing of blood, urine, saliva, breast milk, and vaginal swab sample types. Laboratory data from environmental samples include 196,780 assay results from 5,087 unique samples of dust, indoor air, and water collected from the homes of NCS mother and child participants during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and six months postpartum home study visits, and include assay results and units, lab qualifiers, chemical abstract service (CAS) numbers, and limits of detection and quantitation, with linkage possible to other NCS data files. Detailed documentation and codebooks are available for the laboratory result data.

More information is available on the NCS web page of the NICHD public website and NICHD DASH.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Jack Moye, Jr., MD
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Telephone: 301-594-8624

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