Childhood Lead Levels Improving in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health posted a report March 8 showing the number of tested Illinois children with serious blood lead levels declined slightly from 2004 to 2005. Total children under age 6 tested statewide were about equal -- 272,757 in 2004 and 275,108 in 2005 -- and the number found to have very high levels, 45 mcg/dL or higher, dropped from 87 to 81, the report shows.

The report's summary column shows 60 percent of Chicago children tested in 2004 had levels above 15 mcg/dL versus 53 percent in 2005. Downstate, however, the percentage rose from 40 percent in 2004 to 47 percent in 2005 -- but in both Chicago and downstate, total children above this level declined from 2004 to 2005 as the state's total above 15 mcg/dL fell from 3,302 in 2004 to 2,765 in 2005, the report indicates.

Visit www.idph.state.il.us and click on What's New to read or download the report.

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