The Laboratory was established in 1948 to provide a vital service toward ensuring the safety of those individuals working in Illinois mines. The major function of the laboratory was, and still is, to analyze mine atmospheres for explosive gas and combustible dust. This includes onsite analysis during mine emergencies to ensure the safety of mine rescue teams.
Upon request from other agencies the laboratory has continually increased and broadened its analytical capabilities to include a variety of analysis and sample types.
Today the Laboratory performs coal analysis for state institutions, NPDES analysis for multiple regulatory agencies, soil and refuse analysis, and microbial analysis for drinking water facilities. The laboratory conducts analysis for individuals as well as municipalities and government agencies.