Illinois Lead Program
Call for more information 309-344-0319
Lead poisoning, the No. 1 environmental illness of children, is caused primarily by
lead-based paint in older homes.
Illinois has higher rates of lead poisoning among its children than any other state in the nation. In 2008, more than 5,000 Illinois children were identified with elevated blood lead levels. The most common exposure to lead by children is through the ingestion of paint chips and contaminated dust from deteriorated or disturbed lead-based paint in homes built before 1978.
The Illinois Department of Public Health’s Lead Program employs regional and local health department staff to inspect the dwellings of children who exhibit elevated blood lead levels.
These inspections include an environment lead inspector as well as a trained public health lead nurse, for education and follow-up of elevated lead levels. Knox County Health Department participates in public health awareness campaigns regarding lead poisoning prevention. Homes with hazardous lead-based paint conditions are required to have the paint or the component that is coated with lead-based paint removed.