Lead Testing & Case Management

Evaluating and Testing Children

Identification of children with elevated blood lead levels ensures that appropriate medical follow-up occurs and adverse effects of lead poisoning are minimized. According to Illinois law, physicians are required to test all children 6 years of age or younger if they reside in a high-risk area, and they are required to be evaluated if they reside in a low-risk area. The Illinois Lead Program recommends all children be evaluated or tested as indicated at ages 12 months and 24 months as indicated by Handbook for Providers of Healthy Kids Services using the program’s Childhood Lead Risk Questionnaire and Guidelines.

Illinois law directs child care facilities, preschools, and kindergartens to require each parent or legal guardian of a child 6 years of age or younger to provide a statement from a physician or health care provider that the child has been risk evaluated if the child resides in an area defined as low risk by the Department or tested for lead poisoning if the child resides in an area defied as high risk. (See the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act and/or the Lead Poisoning Prevention Code for details.)

*January, 2015 Amendment to Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act*

Evaluating and Testing Pregnant Persons

410 ILCS 45/6.2(c) … pregnant persons may also be tested by physicians or health care providers in accordance with rules adopted by the Department…

A Prenatal-risk Evaluation for Lead Exposure questionnaire and guidelines has been developed for physicians and healthcare providers of pregnant persons to assist in determining risk for lead exposure.

Case Management 

Children or pregnant persons with confirmed venous elevated blood lead levels of 10 mcg/dL or higher are provided comprehensive case management. Public health nurses conduct home visits to educate families on ways to lower the blood lead level, including proper nutrition, hygiene, and housekeeping. Home visits include a visual assessment of the residence to include education on other hazards in the home that could result in negative health effects. (See the Lead Testing Case Follow-up Guidelines for Local Health Departments for details.)