SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Bruce Rauner has issued a proclamation declaring that Illinois will observe National Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, October 25-31, 2015. The Illinois Department of Public Health joins Governor Rauner, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to build awareness around the hazards of lead poisoning during this week of observance. Lead poisoning occurs most often from exposure to lead-contaminated dust created by deteriorating lead-based paint. In addition, other lead-containing products may also lead to exposure and result in life-long negative effects.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., wants all Illinoisans to be aware that exposure to lead remains a serious health concern. “Given the many health and developmental problems that can occur in children exposed to lead, it is imperative that we build awareness and take the appropriate precautions,” he said.
In 2014, Illinois identified approximately 18,500 Illinois children with blood lead levels greater than the intervention level recommended by CDC. IDPH is pleased to join with health care professionals, agencies, and their delegates in efforts to reduce lead poisoning in children by:
• Raising awareness about lead poisoning;
• Stressing the importance of testing the highest-risk children 6 years of age and younger (preferably by ages 1 and 2) if they have not been tested yet;
• Highlighting partners’ efforts to prevent childhood lead poisoning; and
• Urging people to take steps to reduce lead exposure.