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McDonough County Health Department
Community Health Division

Lead Testing and Screening


Goal

To prevent lead poisoning through screening and testing by trained professionals following the guidelines of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and to provide education, referral, and follow-up to parents and caregivers.

What are the effects of lead?

Children:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Behavior learning problems (such as hyperactivity)
  • Slowed growth
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches

Adults:

  • Difficulties during pregnancy
  • Other reproductive problems (in both men and women)
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Nerve disorders
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Muscle an joint pain

 Who should be tested?

  • Children 6 months to 6 years of age in high risk areas must have blood lead test prior to entry in daycare, preschool programs, or kindergarten.
  • Children in low risk areas are evaluated through a risk assessment questionnaire and tested only if the health care provider determines a danger of lead poisoning.
  • Blood lead testing appointments are available; call for more information.

Facts about lead

  • Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.
  • Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
  • People can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead.
  • People have many options for reducing lead hazards. In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.
  • Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family.

Where can I get more information about lead?