The home is where the family comes together to experience security, shelter and safety. Because we spend more than 50 percent of our lives indoors, it is important to make sure our families have a healthy home in which to live. Children are at a higher risk because they are still growing, discovering their environment and spending much of their time where many hazards exist.
Some of the serious health problems children experience start from what families do or have in their homes. Good mental and physical health depends on homes that are well maintained and free of hazards. On the other hand, poorly maintained homes and homes containing health hazards, promote poorer quality health and risk of injury. The seven principles of healthy housing as defined by the National Center for Healthy Housing are:
- Free of pests
- Free of contaminants
Understanding, identifying and eliminating the dangers that may be in your home, may protect your family. To assist you in evaluating your home for hazards, the program has developed the brochure, Keeping Your Home Healthy and Safe.
Approximately 59% of Illinois homes built before 1978 contain some lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was used both inside and outside of homes, especially on windows, baseboards, trim and doors to ensure its durability. After many years of exposure to moisture and climate changes, the paint begins to deteriorate, causing lead dust and chips to settle in window wells, and on door frames and porches. Even the deepest layers of lead-based paint can be disturbed during remodeling or home repair. The only way to know for sure if your home contains lead-based paint is to have it tested by a licensed lead professional. You can search for a licensed lead inspector or risk assessor in your area using the links located at on this page. Refer to the Code to find the information that is required to be provided on the lead inspection and risk assessment reports. You also may use the links to locate lead contractors that are qualified to remove any lead-based paint or lead hazards identified in your home.
The Program employs regional staff and has delegate agency agreements for local health department staff to conduct risk assessments of dwellings of children who exhibit have been confirmed with elevated blood lead levels. Homes with hazardous lead-based paint conditions are required to have the paint or the component that is coated with lead-based paint removed, permanently covered, or mitigated.
The Program also licenses lead paint inspectors, lead risk assessors, lead abatement contractors, lead supervisors, and lead workers and approves lead training courses for individuals. See the Lead Poisoning Prevention Code.
License Qualifications for Lead Abatement Contractor
A company that would like to be a licensed LEAD ABATEMENT CONTRACTOR shall submit the following information to the Department:
- An application on a form provided by the Department
- $500 non-refundable license fee
- The name and ID number of an Illinois lead licensed supervisor
- A written statement signed by the contractor specifying that only lead workers licensed by the Department will be employed for lead abatement
- A copy of the contractor's written standard operating procedures and employee protection plans, which shall include specific reference to medical monitoring and respirator training programs as required in OSHA regulations at 29 CFR 1910.1001 and 29 CRF 1926.62 (1993)
- A description detailing all legal proceedings, lawsuits, or claims which have been filed or levied against the contractor or any of his past or present employees or companies in regard to construction related activities. If none, then submit a signed statement to that effect
- A licensed abatement contractor shall:
- Be fully knowledgeable of general renovation techniques, including lead-based paint abatement
- Train (or arrange for training of) workers and supervisors on engineering controls and good work practices relating to abatement and on the importance of adherence to these controls and practices
- Assure the safety of workers and prepare a worker protection plan
- Assure that all work is conducted in accordance with the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act and Code
- The Department must receive a Notice of Commencement of Lead Abatement or Mitigation Project Form by fax or mail at least 7 working days prior to commencement of all lead abatement or mitigation conducted in any residential dwelling or childcare facility, including schools that are visited by children 6 years old and younger, located in Illinois. This notification applies to all interior and exterior lead abatement or mitigation conducted in the above referenced facilities. Notification is not required for commercial/industrial buildings at this time
Lead Supervisor, Inspector, Risk Assessor, and Worker
To conduct any lead services, including lead inspection, lead risk assessment, lead hazard screening, lead mitigation and lead abatement work and supervision, in a regulated facility in Illinois, an individual shall be licensed in accordance with the Act and this Section. To qualify for a license as a lead inspector, lead risk assessor, lead supervisor, or lead worker, an applicant shall meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Submit the Department-approved lead training course certificate. The training course completed shall be for the discipline for which licensure is sought. If the initial certificate is expired, include all subsequent IDPH approved refresher training
- Submit a recent 1” x 1” photograph of the applicant for proper identification of the licensee. The license will not be issued without an identification photograph
- Submit the appropriate completed application form provided by the Department
- Submit the required license application fee
- For applicants seeking licensure as a lead inspector, lead risk assessor, and lead supervisor, the applicant must meet the third party examination requirements of Lead Poisoning Prevention Code
Lead Training Course Providers
Approval for lead training courses is based on the requirements specified in the Lead Poisoning Prevention Code. Application for refresher courses can be made concurrently with the initial course. The Department does not need additional copies of course material for the refresher course if it is the same as the initial course, excluding copies of the refresher course agenda. State and local government and nonprofit training programs shall be exempt from application, accreditation and certification fees.
Separate worker course approval is required for courses taught in a language other than English. If training provider wishes to teach a course in Polish, Spanish, or any other foreign language, the training course provider must apply for and receive separate approval. In addition, the training course provider must include a signed statement that the foreign language course content will be the same as the English language course content. If the course is not the same as the English version then the training course provider must provide the foreign version with an English translation of the content of the course and include agendas and other handout materials in the foreign language. The foreign language class list and certificates must indicate the language other than English. Any deviation from the approved course, such as conducting courses longer than an eight (8) hour day, shall not be approved by the Department without prior Department review and approval of such course. Separate approval is required for abbreviated or extended courses. Such approval is required before the courses are offered or held. The Department must receive a written request with a copy of the course agenda, times, etc. reflecting the alternative course meets the requirements set forth in the full course. "Training Hour" means at least 50 minutes of actual teaching, including time devoted to lecture, learning activities, small group activities, demonstrations, evaluations, and/or hands-on experience.
Renewal of Licenses or Accreditation
All licenses or accreditations shall be renewed annually in accordance with the Lead Poisoning Prevention Code. Applicants shall be responsible for ensuring that a renewal application is submitted to the Program prior to the due date established by Code. The Department sends renewal letters to licensees and training course providers that can be completed and submitted along with the applicable non-refundable fees to the Department. It is the responsibility of the licensees and training course providers to know when their licenses expire and when late fees and renewal fees are applicable. In the event that a renewal letter is not received or is misplaced, the Department has a online renewal application that can be downloaded and submitted. Non-refundable late fees shall apply to applicants that do not meet the requirements of the Code.