One of the most poisonous substances we can touch or breathe every day is lead. It is one of the big three with tobacco and asbestos. Development disabilities, nervous disorders, digestion problems, joint pain - you can learn to recognize the symptoms of lead poisoning by visiting the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Lead Program, or by calling 217-782-3517.
We are fortunate that regulations have required the removal of lead from gas, insecticides, toys, stained glass, paint, plumbing, caulk, and other building materials on the market day. However, lead still can be released in a concentrated dust form when doing renovation, repair, and painting in buildings constructed before 1978.
Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act, which authorized the Environmental Protection Agency to do public education and set safety standards. Contractors are now required by EPA to become certified by completing a training course on methods for containing lead-borne dust and debris, and use of the proper tools and techniques when scraping, sanding, heat stripping, sawing and handling.
The Village is not mandated to enforce the new EPA rules, but they are still very important in preventing lead-related illnesses. There are certain exemptions depending on who will be doing the work, the size of the project, and the type of building. It is also possible for a certified inspector to determine if the building is lead free. However, if you’re hiring a contractor to work on buildings built before 1978, you will want them to be EPA certified. There are many excellent resources available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Department of Public Health or 217-782-3517.