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IDPH: Dozens of Central Illinois zip codes now at ‘high risk’; children need to be tested for lead

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Starting this year, several communities in Central Illinois will begin mandatory lead testing for children.

On Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced that several zip codes in Champaign, Coles, Douglas, Macon, Piatt, Sangamon, and Vermilion Counties are considered high-risk areas for lead exposure.

This means that kids living in these areas have to get checked for lead. Under state law, this has to happen before they turn three.

“There is no safe level of lead in the blood,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra in a statement. “DPH is acting to ensure that more children have access to the testing and interventions necessary to decrease the potential serious physical and developmental health concerns linked to lead exposure.”

Close to 1,200 ZIP codes in Illinois have now been labeled as high-risk. This accounts for over 85 percent of the state’s total ZIP codes.

Here are the Central Illinois zip codes that are now on the high-risk list:

Champaign County: 61801, 61802, 61820, 61843, 61859, 61871, 61875, 61877, 61878

Coles County: 62440

Douglas County: 61910, 61911, 61919, 61953

Macon County: 62554

Piatt County: 61854

Sangamon County: 62558, 62561, 62693

Vermilion County: 61817, 61834, 61858

Click here for the complete list of high-risk zip codes for lead testing.


Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director at Illinois Public Media. He oversees daily newscasts and online stories. He also manages The 21st Show, a live, weekday talk show that airs on 7 NPR stations throughout Illinois. He is the executive producer of IPM's annual environmental TV special "State of Change." And he is the co-creator of Illinois Soul, IPM's Black-focused audio service that launched in February 2024. Before arriving at IPM in 2019, he served as News Director at WKAR in East Lansing and spent 17 years as a TV news producer and manager at KXAS, the NBC-owned station in Dallas/Fort Worth. Reginald is the recipient of three Edward R. Murrow regional awards, seven regional Emmy awards, and multiple honors from the National Association of Black Journalists. Born in Vietnam, Reginald grew up in Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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