Division of Laboratories

ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING

General information
Environmental testing is not directly available to individuals but must be requested through approved local health departments, regional offices or other public agencies. Requests for special or non-routine analyses must be coordinated through the laboratory in conjunction with the public agency.

Potable water
Routine analysis of water consists of bacteriological examination for the presence, classification and/or quantification of coliform organisms and chemical determination of nitrate.

Non-community public water supplies
Sample bottles for bacteriological and chemical monitoring are supplied routinely by the Division of Laboratories to facilities. Analysis includes those listed above for potable water plus nitrite. Reports on non-community public water supply samples are issued to IDPH regional offices or approved local health departments.

Private water supplies
Any individual using a non-public supply may request analysis of that water for bacteriological and/or chemical quality through their local Health Department or IDPH regional office. Individuals with chlorinated supplies should request specially prepared containers. Reports of all private water supply analyses will be issued to the local health departments or IDPH regional offices for interpretation and recommendations. Contact your local health department or IDPH regional office for testing criteria.

Public water supplies
Community water supplies, defined by the Safe Drinking Water Act, are under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). IDPH will process emergency sample requests following main breaks, main repairs or boil orders. Reports of those analyses will be sent to IEPA.

Special requirements for water sample testing
The combination collection/report form that is enclosed with the sample container must be filled out as completely as possible and the sample must be collected according to the enclosed instructions.
Water samples must be collected in laboratory containers appropriate for the analysis requested. These containers are available from all laboratories, regional offices and most local health departments.

FOOD TESTING

General information
All food samples must be submitted through local health departments, IDPH regional offices, or local or state municipalities. Special requests require prior consultation with the laboratory.

Food-borne disease investigations should be coordinated with the Division of Infectious Diseases
(217-785-7165) and the Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies (217-785-2439).

Chemical tampering investigations should be coordinated through local law enforcement agencies or the IDPH Division of Food, Drugs and Dairies. Prior consultation with the laboratory is required.

FOOD AND DAIRY CHEMISTRY - INORGANIC

Test Submission container Performed at TAT Days
Borates Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Chloride Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Extraneous Material Retail or appropriate Ch, Spr
10
Moisture Retail or appropriate Ch, Spr
10
Nitrite, quant Retail or appropriate Ch
10
pH, acidity Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Salt Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Solids, total Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Sulfite, quant Retail or appropriate Ch
10

FOOD AND DAIRY CHEMISTRY - METALS

Test Submission container Performed at TAT Days
As - Zn* [X] ContactLaboratory for Instructions Ch 10

FOOD AND DAIRY CHEMISTRY - ORGANIC

Test Submission container Performed at TAT Days
Benzoate, quant Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Brix Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Color added, qual and quant Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Egg solids Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Fat  Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Pesticide/herbicide Retail or appropriate Spr
10
Protein Retail or appropriate Ch
10
Sorbate, quant Retail or appropriate Ch
10

* Most metals available, contact laboratory for specific availability.

FOOD AND DAIRY MICROBIOLOGY

Test Submission Container Performed at TAT Days
Bacillus cereus 6 oz water bottle or retail Ch, Spr
4
Butterfat 6 oz water bottle or retail Ch
2
Clostridium perfringens 6 oz water bottle or retail Ch, Spr
5
Coliform, total 6 oz water bottle or retail Ca, Ch, Spr
4
Coliform, fecal 6 oz water bottle or retail Ca, Ch, Spr
3
Extraneous material 6 oz water bottle or retail Ch, Spr
14
Freezing Pt.-cryoscope  6 oz water bottle or retail Ch, Spr
2
Inhibitor 6 oz water bottle or retail Ca, Ch, Spr
2
Listeria monocytogenes 6 oz water bottle or retail Ch, Spr
14
Net contents (wt var) 6 oz water bottle or retail Ch, Spr
2
Phosphatase 6 oz water bottle or retail Ca, Ch, Spr
5
Rinse Test (container) 6 oz water bottle or retail Ca, Ch, Spr
5
SPC/APC 6 oz water bottle or retail Ca, Ch, Spr
2
Salmonella 6 oz water bottle or retail Ca, Ch, Spr
7
Staphylococcus Swab, retail, lab supplied Ch, Spr
4
Sterility Retail container Ca, Ch, Spr
4
Streptococcus, fecal 6 oz water bottle Ca, Ch, Spr
3
Vibrio cholerae 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
10
Vibrio parahemolyticus 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
10
Yersinia enterocolitica 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
20

WATER CHEMISTRY - INORGANIC

Test Submission Container Performed at TAT Days
Fluoride 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
14
Hardness 6 oz water bottle Spr
10
Hydrogen Sulfide 6 oz water bottle Ch
10
MBAS (detergents) 6 oz water bottle Spr
10
Nitrate (qual) 6 oz water bottle Ca
 5
Nitrate (quant) 6 oz water bottle Ca, Ch, Spr
 5
Nitrite 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
10
Nitrite (quant) 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
10
pH 6 oz water bottle Ca,Ch, Spr
10
Residual Chlorine 6 oz water bottle Ca,Ch, Spr
10
Sediment 6 oz water bottle Ch
10
Sulfate 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
10
Total solids / EC 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
10
Turbidity 6 oz water bottle Ch, Spr
10

WATER CHEMISTRY - METALS

Test Submission Container Performed at TAT Days
Aluminum Lab supplied container Ch
10
Antimony Lab supplied container Ch
10
Arsenic Lab supplied container Ch
10
Barium Lab supplied container Ch
10
Beryllium Lab supplied container Ch
10
Cadmium Lab supplied container Ch
10
Chromium Lab supplied container Ch
10
Copper Lab supplied container Ch
10
Iron Lab supplied container Ch
10
Lead Lab supplied container Ch
10
Magnesium Lab supplied container Ch
10
Manganese Lab supplied container Ch
10
Mercury Lab supplied container Ch
10
Nickel Lab supplied container Ch
10
Selenium Lab supplied container Ch
10
Sodium Lab supplied container Ch
10
Thallium Lab supplied container Ch
10
Zinc Lab supplied container Ch
10

WATER CHEMISTRY - ORGANIC

Test Submission Container Performed at TAT Days
Pesticide/Herbicide Lab supplied container Spr
10
Hydrocarbons Lab supplied container Spr
10
Trihalomethanes Lab supplied container Spr
14
Volatile organic cpds. Lab supplied container Spr
 5

WATER MICROBIOLOGY

Test Submission Container Performed at TAT Days
Coliform, total 6 oz water bottle Ca,Ch,Spr
4
Coliform, fecal 6 oz water bottle Ca,Ch,Spr
3
E. coli 6 oz water bottle Ca,Ch,Spr
4
Iron bacteria Retail or appropriate Spr
1
Pseudomonas Retail or appropriate Ca,Ch,Spr
4
Streptococcus, fecal Retail or appropriate Ca,Spr
3
Salmonella/Shigella Retail or appropriate Spr
8
Sterility Retail or appropriate Spr
2

HEAVY METALS

General information
Analysis of a wide variety of environmental samples for heavy metal content is provided. Analysis for lead in paint chips, wipes, soil and air filters is routine. Various foods, toys, flatware and other items also can be tested. Contact the laboratory for instructions. Other metals testing is offered on request. Most elements are analyzed by graphite furnace AA. Lead is analyzed by flame AA. Mercury analysis is performed by cold vapor techniques. Submitter should contact the laboratory for special instructions.

The laboratory is IEPA and Environmental Laboratory Lead Accreditation Program (ELLAP) certified.

Special requirements for paint, dust wipes and soils testing
Paint chips, dust wipes and soil samples will be accepted only from IDPH Division of Environmental Heath, local heath departments or other public agencies. The laboratory will supply sample containers and dust wipe media on request. Paint chips should be free of underlying matrix and are analyzed as submitted. A minimum of 200 mg is required. Results will be reported in percent content.

Dust wipes may be filter paper and water or alcohol swabs. Baby wipes are not routinely accepted. Dust wipes must be packaged separately in 50 mL centrifuge tubes to avoid cross contamination. A control should be supplied along with each batch of submitted wipes. Results will be reported in total content.

Submit soil samples in 50 mL centrifuge tubes. A minimum of 5 g of soil shall be submitted. Results will be reported in micrograms per gram of dried soil.
 

Test Submission container
Performed at
TAT Days
As - ZN Lab supplied container
Ch
10
Pb Lab supplied container
Ch
5




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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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