Lead Poisoning Prevention
Call 309-344-2224 to set up a childhood lead screening.
Lead poisoning is the number one environmental illness of children. The most common exposure to lead is by ingesting paint chips or contaminated dust from older homes. Homes built before 1978 frequently contain some lead-based paint. Illinois has one of the highest rates of lead poisoning in the US.
The Illinois Lead Program recommends that all children be tested at ages of 12 months and 24 months, and some other at-risk children should be screened until 6 years of age. As of January 1993, all children in Illinois entering day care, nursey school, or preschool/ kindergarten must have a lead screening. Routine screenings are important, as elevated blood lead levels can cause long-term negative health problems for children. Catching elevated blood lead levels as early as possible will lead to the best outcomes.
Exposure to lead can seriously harm a child’s health and cause well-documented adverse effects such as:
- Damage to the brain and nervous system
- Slowed growth and development
- Learning and behavior problems
- Hearing and speech problems
The health effects of lead exposure are more harmful to children less than six years of age because their bodies are still developing and growing rapidly. Young children are also more likely to put their hands or other objects in their mouths, which increasing the likelihood of lead exposure. Additional information about high-risk populations is available at CDC’s Population at Higher Risk. For more information about lead poisoning in children, refer to the CDC’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.
Environmental Lead Abatement
As per the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act and 845 Lead Poisoning Prevention Code,
the health department will inspect the dwellings of children with elevated blood lead levels and continue monitoring children’s blood lead levels until they are within a safe range. These inspections will be conducted by an environmental lead inspector, while a trained public health nurse will provide follow-up and education.
For additional information about lead paint abatement, refer to the Environmental Protection Agency.