IDPH Adopts Rules Updating Lead Poisoning Testing and Reporting

March 5, 2019


IDPH Adopts Rules Updating Lead Poisoning Testing and Reporting

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) adopted rules (see pp. 2440-2557 of the February 22 Illinois Register) to implement PA 98-690 and made other changes to provide clarity to existing processes utilized by the Department relating to its lead poisoning prevention regulations. Of interest to hospitals were changes made to Section 845.55 – Lead Testing and Section 845.60 – Reporting.

Key changes include:

  • Reducing the blood lead poisoning level from 10 to 5 micrograms per deciliter (mg/dL);
  • Requiring physicians and other healthcare providers, who treat children ages 6 and younger, to test children who reside in or frequently visit a high-risk area, as defined by IDPH;
  • Evaluating those children living in areas defined as low risk by completing the IDPH Childhood Lead Risk Questionnaire. If they are determined to be high risk, they will receive a blood test;
  • Encouraging physicians and other healthcare providers to screen children 7 years and older with the Childhood Lead Risk Questionnaire as well as pregnant persons using the Prenatal-risk Evaluation of Lead Exposure developed by IDPH;
  • Requiring hospitals or a healthcare provider who has verified information of a child or pregnant person with blood lead results of 5 mg/dL or higher to report this information to IDPH within 48 hours. All other blood lead results must be reported no more than 60 days after the test results are analyzed. Note: If the blood analysis was completed at an IDPH laboratory or it is ascertained that the laboratory that processed the specimen provides electronic reports to IDPH of all blood level results than an additional report by the hospital is not required.

If you have any other questions, please contact Lance Kovacs.