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Photo of the Centennial Bridge with a Welcome to Rock Island sign in the foreground

Lead Poisoning Prevention Program

No amount of lead is safe in the body. Lead, a naturally occurring element in air, soil, and water, was used extensively in household products, most notably paint and water pipes, before the federal government banned it for household uses in 1978. Children exposed to lead often have trouble with learning, thinking, and behaving that can have life-long repercussions. Lead is particularly dangerous for children because their growing bodies absorb it more easily, and their brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damage. Babies and young children can touch lead-contaminated items, most frequently peeling paint or dust, and then put their hands in their mouths.

The Rock Island County Health Department tests children who participate in the WIC supplemental nutrition program, and state law requires that all children by tested by age 6. In 2016, 121 children were shown to have elevated lead levels in their bodies. The health department’s lead program provides follow-up and referrals for children with elevated lead levels.

If your child has an elevated blood lead level reading, we are here to help.

Faith Henderson

More helpful information about lead in the home:
Live Lead Free PowerPoint