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(410 ILCS 43/5)
Findings; intent; establishment of program.
(a) The General Assembly finds all of the following:
(1) Lead-based paint poisoning is a potentially
devastating, but preventable disease. It is one of the top environmental threats to children's health in the United States.
(2) The number of lead-poisoned children in Illinois
is among the highest in the nation, especially in older, more affordable properties.
(3) Lead poisoning causes irreversible damage to the
development of a child's nervous system. Even at low and moderate levels, lead poisoning causes learning disabilities, problems with speech, shortened attention span, hyperactivity, and behavioral problems. Recent research links low levels of lead exposure to lower IQ scores and to juvenile delinquency.
(4) Older housing is the number one risk factor for
childhood lead poisoning. Properties built before 1950 are statistically much more likely to contain lead-based paint hazards than buildings constructed more recently.
(5) The State of Illinois ranks 10th out of the 50
states in the age of its housing stock. More than 50% of the housing units in Chicago and in Rock Island, Peoria, Macon, Madison, and Kankakee counties were built before 1960. More than 43% of the housing units in St. Clair, Winnebago, Sangamon, Kane, and Cook counties were built before 1950.
(6) There are nearly 1.4 million households with
lead-based paint hazards in Illinois.
(7) Most children are lead poisoned in their own
homes through exposure to lead dust from deteriorated lead paint surfaces, like windows, and when lead paint deteriorates or is disturbed through home renovation and repainting.
(8) Less than 25% of children in Illinois age 6 and
under have been tested for lead poisoning. While children are lead poisoned throughout Illinois, counties above the statewide average include: Alexander, Cass, Cook, Fulton, Greene, Kane, Kankakee, Knox, LaSalle, Macon, Mercer, Peoria, Perry, Rock Island, Sangamon, St. Clair, Stephenson, Vermilion, Will, and Winnebago.
(9) The control of lead hazards significantly reduces
lead-poisoning rates. Other communities, including New York City and Milwaukee, have successfully reduced lead-poisoning rates by removing lead-based paint hazards on windows.
(10) Windows are considered a higher lead exposure
risk more often than other components in a housing unit. Windows are a major contributor of lead dust in the home, due to both weathering conditions and friction effects on paint.
(11) There is an insufficient pool of licensed lead
abatement workers and contractors to address the problem in some areas of the State.
(12) Through grants from the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development, some communities in Illinois have begun to reduce lead poisoning of children. While this is an ongoing effort, it only addresses a small number of the low-income children statewide in communities with high levels of lead paint in the housing stock.
(b) It is the intent of the General Assembly to:
(1) address the problem of lead poisoning of children
by eliminating lead hazards in homes;
(2) provide training within communities to encourage
the use of lead paint safe work practices;
(3) create job opportunities for community members in
the lead abatement industry;
(4) support the efforts of small business and
property owners committed to maintaining lead-safe housing; and
(5) assist in the maintenance of affordable lead-safe
(c) The General Assembly hereby establishes the Comprehensive Lead Education, Reduction, and Window Replacement Program to assist residential property owners through loan and grant programs to reduce lead paint hazards through window replacement in pilot area communities. Where there is a lack of workers trained to remove lead-based paint hazards, job-training programs must be initiated. The General Assembly also recognizes that training, insurance, and licensing costs are prohibitively high and hereby establishes incentives for contractors to do lead abatement work.
(Source: P.A. 95-492, eff. 1-1-08.)