Lead

Lead-based paint on a door

Most of the paint manufactured and used before 1978 contained high levels of lead. When intact, the paint is not a hazard. But as older homes and buildings deteriorate, cracking and peeling paint can create sources of lead poisoning, which are especially dangerous for pregnant women and children under the age of six.

Since 1993, the Vermilion County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division has enforced the state’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Act. After a child under the age of six is found to have an elevated blood-lead level, an environmental inspection of homes or other environments where the child might have been exposed to lead is initiated. Once a source of lead poisoning is identified during an environmental inspection, treatment is ordered to prevent further exposure.

Vermilion County is viewed as a high risk area for lead poisoning in children because of housing age and average income. Low-income housing is the prime source of most lead poisoning in young children.

Never attempt to start a remodeling project that will involve lead paint without first checking with our Licensed Lead Risk Assessors. For more information on how to work safely with lead paint, or on the Lead Poison Prevention program, contact the Environmental Health Director.

Some toys were recently recalled after they were found to contain lead-based paint. Here is a link to a website with additional information about that recall, sponsored by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

Visiting the EMSL Analytical website can provide information about the testing of paint, dust and water for lead content.

Before using chemical lead test kits available at various retail stores, please read this link to a Consumer Affairs report on chemical test kits.

All Illinois children entering licensed day care centers, the Headstart program or kindergarten are required to be tested for lead.

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Contact our Lead Risk Assessors with your lead questions or to receive more information about lead.