Lead paint isn’t any safer than it used to be, and there are new federal rules applying to contractors who deal with places which have it, or which could have it. The rules have to do with more certification. Professionals who repair or renovate houses, apartments, and “child-occupied facilities” built before 1978 must be aware of how to keep people safe from any paint chips or paint dust.
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Areas which have an older housing stock have the biggest lead problems. “Illinois, particularly around the Peoria area and the Chicago area – we have had elevated blood lead levels in a lot of children, compared to the rest of the country,” says Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health. In 2010, about 3,000 Illinois children had high levels of lead in their blood. The state is holding meetings around Illinois in February and March to educate contractors about the changes. For more information, you may call the IDPH lead program at (217) 782-3517.