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, and 3, 4,5, and 6 years of age, as indicated by Handbook for Providers of Healthy Kids Services (updates reflecting new recommendaitons and updates to the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act to be published soon) using the program’s Childhood Lead Risk Questionnaire and Guidelines and the IDPH Childhood Evaluation and Testing Recommendations.

Illinois law requires all children be assessed for risk of lead exposure, and tested if necessary, for enrollment into daycare, preschool, and kindergarten.  Proof of evaulation and testing, if deemed necessary, must be provided. (See the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act and/or the Lead Poisoning Prevention Code for details.)

*January 2015 Amendment to Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act*
IDPH has published a new Childhood Lead Risk Questionnaires and official Childhood Lead Evaluation and Testing Recommendations

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 5 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.)