Lead Poisoning 
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Kane County Environmental Health Services
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Lead poisoning is the most common environmental illness affecting children. Illinois has higher rates of childhood lead poisoning than any other state in the United States. Elevated lead rates are caused primarily from breathing in contaminated dust from old lead-based paint in homes built before 1978. Secondary sources of lead poisoning come from cooking with leaded pottery and eating lead-based paint chips. In 2010, 21,095 Illinois children were identified with elevated blood lead levels of 6 micrograms per deciliter or higher. Lead poisoning has no obvious signs or symptoms.  Children who are poisoned may complain of stomachaches, decreased appetite, sleeping problems and hyperactivity.
Lead Data in Kane County:
According to the 2010 Illinois Lead Program and Healthy Homes Annual Surveillance Report, Kane County has the fourth highest county rate of childhood lead poisoning in the state. Nearly 1,500 children in Kane are known to have elevated blood lead levels.

The Kane County 2012-2016 Community Health Improvement Plan lists childhood lead poisoning as one of the six major threats to the residents of Kane County’s health and well-being.  
Lead Prevention Programs in Kane County
Lead poisoning is entirely preventable. The key is stopping children from coming into contact with lead and treating children who have been poisoned by lead. The goal is to prevent lead exposure to children before they are harmed. There are many ways parents can reduce a child’s exposure to lead.  Lead hazards in a child’s environment must be identified and controlled or removed safely.
● There are a number of programs available to assist Kane County families with lead-based paint hazards.  Both homeowners and renters are eligible, but must meet certain income requirements (i.e. household income for a family of four cannot exceed $60,650).  Work is based on the results of a risk assessment and is performed by lead-licensed contractors. 
● The Kane County Health Department has a Childhood Lead Prevention Program to report, track, and refer children with high blood levels for treatment.  The program also provides education to individuals and the community, to help raise awareness of the causes of childhood lead poisoning. 
For information about the Kane County Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program Click Here
How are children exposed to lead?
Lead-based paint and lead contaminated dust are the main sources of exposure for lead in U.S. children. Lead-based paints were banned for use in housing in 1978. All houses built before 1978 are likely to contain some lead-based paint. However, it is the deterioration of this paint that causes a problem. Approximately 24 million housing units have deteriorated leaded paint and elevated levels of lead-contaminated house dust. More than 4 million of these dwellings are homes to one or more young children.
Who is at risk?
All children under the age of 6 years old are at risk because they are growing so rapidly and because they tend to put their hands or other objects, which may be contaminated with lead dust, into their mouths. However, children living at or below the poverty line who live in older housing are at greatest risk. Additionally, children of some racial and ethnic groups and those living in older housing are disproportionately affected by lead.
Read more HERE
No Lead
Lead Display 
Kane County Health Department provides information about lead safety in the home
The most important aspect of
lead poisoning prevention
is by eliminating exposure to lead
blood testBlood lead screenings can identify children at risk and allow doctors to provide prompt treatment.
People who live in homes built before 1978 are especially encouraged to undergo a screening to have their blood lead levels tested.
paintContractors working on homes with lead paint are required to follow the EPA’s Renovation, Repair, and Painting lead law (RRP).
RRP provides guidelines for protection against renovation activities that can disturb lead dust such as sanding, cutting and demolition. Link
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) can provide you with information about lead poisoning, treatment, and current prevention efforts in Illinois.
IDPH provides a factsheet about childhood lead poisoning, as well as information about the Illinois Lead Prevention program.
The CDC webpage provides lead prevention tips, national data, statistics, and surveillance, policies related to lead, and a lead prevention tip of the day.
Learn About Lead  EPA
CDC Lead Page
Illinois State Lead Code
IDPH Lead Page
IDPH Lead Fact Sheet
Lead Poisoning - CDC
Sources of Lead - CDC
Recalls - that might include lead-based food and items
Lead Facts:
• There is NO safe level of lead in blood
• Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, ability to pay attention, and academic achievement         • Lead poisoning affects Kane County children regardless of zip code, income level, race, gender, and Medicaid/non-Medicaid coverage
• 49 % of Kane County homes were built before 1978
•  In 2014, 4.3 percent of all children insured by Medicaid tested in Kane County had blood levels ≥ 5 µg/dL
• In 2014, 3.2 percent of all children NOT insured by Medicaid tested in Kane County had blood levels ≥ 5 µg/dL
• In 2014, compared to Illinois, Kane County children tested, regardless of insurance, had lower rates of blood levels ≥ 5 µg/dL. 
• The AAP recommends that health care providers provide anticipatory guidance to parents of all infants and toddlers because of normal mouthing behaviors between the ages of 6 months and 3 years.
• Parents may not be aware that their homes, work and hobbies may present a lead hazard for their children.          Frequent risk assessments and education is vital to keeping Kane kids lead free!
Why does the community need to support children who test positive for lower levels of lead?
Because we want our kids to measure up as unleaded!
The burden of Illinois childhood lead poisoning remains one of the highest in the nation. In 2014 alone, 2,279 children had blood lead levels of 10 µg/dL or greater and 18,412 Illinois children had blood lead levels at or above the reference value of 5 µg/dL for blood lead established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly 600 children in Kane are known to have blood lead levels.

These children are at grave risk for the intellectual, behavioral, and academic deficits caused by lead. The primary source of lead exposure for children is their homes; some 1 million homes in Illinois have lead-based paint hazards that can result in childhood lead poisoning. Low income and minority children bear a disproportionate burden of this condition caused by unhealthy housing. In Kane County, 49% of our housing stock was built before 1978. To raise awareness of the consequences of lead poisoning among parents and pregnant women who live in these older homes, the Kane County Healthy Places Coalition is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week October 25-31 to encourage parents to learn more about how to prevent lead poisoning.

Kane County Healthy Places Coalition partnered with 15 home improvement stores that set up eye-catching lead awareness displays that highlighted their safe level products while also educating their customers on lead prevention.

Other initiatives that bring information to our communities regarding Radon and Carbon Monoxide include Radon Awareness Month in January 2017 with participation in the Healthy Places Coalition Radon Display at all Kane County libraries; and Carbon Monoxide 2016 campaign during the colder months that spreads valuable information regarding Carbon Monoxide poisoning, preventive measures, education and awareness.