Click to download the NWHP Lead Program flyer
Lead Hazard Reduction – Home improvement program
- Are you pregnant, or do you have children under the age of 6?
- Do you live in Bellwood, Berwyn, Broadview, Brookfield, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Forest Park, Lyons, Maywood, Melrose Park, River Grove or Stone Park?
- Was your home built before 1978?
- Find and Fix Lead Paint Hazards – for free!
The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are working together to inspect homes and fix lead paint hazards in homes in your area.
A family may qualify for this program if their income is below the program limit and if lead hazards are found in the home. If lead hazards are found, CCDPH will work with a licensed contractor to fix the hazards, at no cost to you. Work that is typically done to fix lead hazards includes painting, replacing windows, or other home repair work to remove lead paint.
Enroll today to have lead paint hazards removed from your home and protect your family.
Program income limits are:
|We are currently accepting applications from homeowners and both renter groups.|
Lead Fact Sheet
What is Lead?
Lead is a poisonous metal that our bodies can’t use. It was used in paint before it was banned in the United States in 1978. Homes built before 1978 contain lead-based paint. Children under the age of 6 are at greatest risk for lead poisoning.
Lead is mostly found in:
- Dust that is created when home surfaces are scraped, sanded or rubbed together. Paint chips and dust that contain lead can gather on surfaces and objects that people touch or children put in their mouths.
- Ethnic home (folk) remedies like azarcon and pay-loo-ah; and cosmetics, such as kohl, kajal and surma.
- Imported candies and spices.
Children under 6 are at greatest risk for lead poisoning.
How does a child become lead poisoned?
Children become lead poisoned by:
- Eating lead paint chips and soil.
- Chewing on toys or furniture covered in lead paint.
- Eating food prepared in imported pottery.
- Breathing in lead-contaminated dust.
How can I find out if my child is lead poisoned?
The only way to know if your child is lead poisoned is by getting a blood test. Signs of lead poisoning are hard to see, but lead is harmful and can cause:
- Lowered IQ and learning problems.
- Trouble concentrating and behavioral problems.
- Anemia (a disease caused by low iron levels), which can result in tiredness, shortness of breath, and difficulty paying attention.
How Can I Prevent Lead Poisoning?
One of the easiest ways to prevent childhood lead poisoning is to get rid of lead dust and paint chips:
- Wipe down window sills and window wells with soap and water to remove lead dust and paint chips. Wash all toys, pacifiers, bottles, blankets, sheets, rugs and curtains often.
- Teach and practice hand-washing. Have children wash their hands for 20 seconds after playing outside, before eating and before bedtime.
- Take off your shoes when entering your home to keep dust out.
Prepare and eat healthy meals/snacks
Children with empty stomachs absorb more lead than children with full stomachs. Provide your child with four to six small meals during the day. The following nutrients can help protect your child from lead poisoning: Iron, Calcium, Vitamin C and small snacks between meals.How does a child become lead poisoned?
|Foods with Iron||
Foods with Vitamin C
Normal levels of iron work to protect the body from the harmful effects of lead.
Good sources of iron include:
Vitamin C and iron-rich foods work together to reduce lead absorption.
Good sources of vitamin C include:
Foods with Calcium
Examples of small snacks between meals
Calcium reduces lead absorption and also helps make teeth and bones strong.
Good calcium sources include: