Lead Poisoning

Lead is a highly toxic metal that interferes with the body in many different ways and can be toxic to various organs. It only takes a small amount of lead to enter the body and cause permanent damage to the nervous system, which affects behavior and learning development in children. Children under the age of six are especially vulnerable.

Lead-based paint was used prior to 1978 on the inside and outside of homes, primarily because of its durability. Lead in paint used for child-occupied buildings (e.g. homes, schools, childcare facilities, etc.) was banned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 1978, however lead-based paint in older homes is still the most common source of lead.

Download a fact sheet:

CCDPH Lead Poisoning Services

The Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is a collaborative effort between the following CCDPH departments: Environmental Health Services, Public Health Nursing, and Lead Poisoning Prevention and Healthy Homes. Below is an overview of all lead services and each department’s role in helping to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate the effects of childhood lead poisoning.

Medical Providers: To request CCDPH environmental and nursing services for your patients with blood lead levels below 10µg/dL, call 708-633-2418. Children with blood lead levels at 10µg/dL and greater will be automatically reported to CCDPH for follow-up, as long as you or your lab has reported them correctly to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Environmental Health Services Unit

This department provides lead risk assessments in the homes of children identified as having an elevated blood-lead level. Lead risk assessors: identify both lead-based paint and non lead-based paint hazards in the home; issue orders to correct lead-based paint hazards; monitor and provide guidance to property owners and contractors as they work to correct lead-based paint hazards; conduct testing to confirm that a home has been made ‘lead safe’; and respond to complaints of improper removal of lead-based paint. For more information about CCDPH Environmental Health Services, click here.

Public Health Nursing

This department provides case management for young children with elevated blood-lead levels. Case management can include home visits from public health nurses, medical follow-up, nutritional evaluations, and developmental screenings. For more information about CCDPH Public Health Nursing, click here.

Prevention Services Unit: Lead Poisoning Prevention & Healthy Homes

This department works with the state to ensure accurate reporting of children with elevated blood-lead levels; provides education and outreach to parents, schools, healthcare, childcare providers, and community-based organizations; works to advance policies that support healthy homes; and administers the Lead Prevention Program grant, which provides funds to property owners to remediate identified lead hazards.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant

Cook County has a Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that runs through July 2020. This grant provides funding for CCDPH to correct lead paint hazards in homes in select suburban Cook County communities for families that qualify. 

A family may qualify for the grant program if:

  1. Their income is below the program limit,
  2. There are lead hazards in the home, and
  3. The home is one of the following communities: Blue Island, Berwyn, Calumet City, Calumet Park, Cicero, Dolton, Maywood, Riverdale and Robbins.

CCDPH will work with families to identify any lead paint hazards in their home, and contract with a licensed lead abatement contractor who will come to your home and fix the hazards, at no cost to you. Work that is typically done to fix lead hazards could be things like painting, replacing old wooden windows, or other home repair work to remove or contain the lead paint.

Household incomes cannot exceed the amounts in the charts below for your family size.

 If you own your home:

Family Size

Income cannot exceed:

3

$56,900

4

$63,200

5

$68,300

6

$73,350

If you rent:

Family Size

Income for ½ of the Units in the building cannot exceed:

Income for the other ½ of the Units in the building cannot exceed:

3

35,550

$56,900

4

39,500

$63,200

5

42,700

$68,300

6

45,850

$73,350

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cook County Department of Public Health staff members are available to answer questions about the program. If you are interested, and would like to see if you qualify, please email ddurica@cookcountyhhs.org, or call 708-633-8054 Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30.