Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
October 21-27, 2018
The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that Governor Bruce Rauner has signed a proclamation recognizing October 21-27, 2018 as Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Nirav D. Shah, is reminding all Illinoisans that exposure to lead remains a health hazard. While the primary source of lead exposure is contaminated dust created by disturbed and/or deteriorated lead-based paint, lead in soil, lead in water and other products containing lead may cause an exposure that may cause life-long effects. In 2017, Illinois identified more than 7,000 Illinois children with blood lead levels greater than 5 μg/dL, the intervention level recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Shah is pleased to join with health care professionals, agencies and their delegates in observance of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in an effort to reduce lead exposure in children.
Lead Poisoning Prevention Webinars
To kick off Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and a year-long initiative to bring greater awareness and education to the both the public and professionals who work with lead exposed children, the IDPH Lead Program is pleased to announce the start of our Web Series. This series will run throughout the year and new presentation will be posted to cover a wide range of topics and concerns about lead exposure and children.
October 21, 2018: The Illinois Department of Public Health Lead Program Presents – A Look at Lead Exposed Children and Case Management through the IDPH Lead Program.
For more information and previously recorded webinars, please visit the Lead Education and Training Page.
Illinois Lead Program
Lead poisoning, the number one environmental illness of children, is caused primarily by lead-based paint in older homes. While Illinois has made great progress in recent years, we maintain one of the highest rates in the nation for the number of children 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. About 75 percent of Illinois homes built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint. Other exposures may be from imported goods or food containing lead.
The Illinois Lead Program’s Goals and Responsibilities
The primary objective of the Illinois Lead Program is to eliminate the incidence of childhood lead poisoning. Program funding is provided through a federal grant by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The program conducts management responsibilities, nursing consultations, education, data compilation, and also licenses lead professionals. The role of lead prevention and intervention activities are delegated to local health departments and health districts that provide services under a grant agreement.
The goal of the Program is to provide assistance for case management services, education and outreach through training and community interventions. Also, the program compiles data and produces surveillance reports for program evaluation.
The program partners with numerous agencies and organizations throughout the state whose common interest is to alleviate lead exposure and assist in promoting a healthy environment. A diverse 40 member team, the Illinois Lead Poisoning Elimination Advisory Council, provides program guidance and oversight for carrying out the goals of the Strategic Plan for the Elimination of Childhood Lead Poisoning.
The program’s responsibilities include three key areas for prevention and intervention activities assisting families; 1) Testing, Case Management and Surveillance, 2) Education/Training, and 3) Lead Abatement/Mitigation Licensure.