The Illinois CLEAR-Win program is run by IDPH’s Division of Environmental Health with the goal of assisting residential property owners of single-family homes and multi-unit residential properties to reduce lead paint and leaded plumbing hazards in qualified residential properties by replacing old windows and other lead hazard control techniques.

This program is very important, as over 7,000 children from Illinois are found to have dangerous levels of lead in their blood each year. According to the IDPH: The burden of Illinois childhood lead exposure remains one of the highest in the nation. Illinois law requires reporting of all blood lead tests to IDPH. Of approximately 237,000 children tested in 2019, more than 7,000 had blood lead levels at the public health intervention level.

Let’s take a look at the dangers of lead poisoning and how CLEAR-win can help mitigate them.

What Is Lead Poisoning?

Lead poisoning is a condition that occurs when a person’s body accumulates an excessive amount of lead. Lead is a toxic metal that can have detrimental effects on various organs and systems in the body, particularly the nervous system.

Once lead enters the body, it can be distributed throughout various tissues, including the brain, liver, kidneys, and bones. Lead poisoning can have both acute and chronic effects, with symptoms varying depending on the level and duration of exposure.

Lead Poisoning Symptoms

Lead poisoning has many symptoms. Some of the most common include:

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Behavioral changes, particularly in children
  • Developmental delays in children
  • Learning difficulties
  • Cognitive impairment
  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia

Severe or prolonged lead exposure can cause more serious health issues, including:

  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Kidney damage
  • Reproductive problems
  • Death (in extreme cases)

Preventing Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning is a preventable condition. Measures to prevent lead exposure include:

  • Ensuring proper hygiene and cleanliness, especially in environments where lead exposure is possible.
  • Regularly cleaning and dusting areas with lead-based paint.
  • Drinking and using water from lead-safe sources.
  • Following safety guidelines and using personal protective equipment in occupations that involve lead.
  • Properly removing or encapsulating lead-based paint in older buildings, highly regulated tasks which Illinois Environmental Contractors Association contractors are trained and licensed to perform.
  • Providing children with lead-free toys, avoiding imported toys with lead content.
  • Regularly screening children for lead levels, particularly in high-risk areas or if exposure is suspected.

If lead poisoning is suspected, medical attention should be sought promptly. Blood tests can be conducted to determine lead levels in the body, and appropriate interventions, such as chelation therapy, may be required to remove lead from the body.

Illinois CLEAR-Win Program

The Comprehensive Lead Education, Reduction, and Window Replacement Program (CLEAR-Win) was established by Public Act 95- 492 as a pilot program and continues with legislative requirements and funding allocation under Public Act 100-0461 and 410 ILCS 43, Title 77  Administrative Code 843. CLEAR-Win aims to assist residential property owners to reduce lead paint and leaded plumbing hazards in qualified homes throughout Illinois by way of window replacement and remediation of other sources of lead.

Qualifying for CLEAR-Win

Assistance may be approved for Illinois rental properties when:

  • The property contains a lead hazard
  • 50% or more of the renters in the residential property are low-income.

The property owner must certify that they will continue to rent to the same tenant or other low-income tenants for a period of not less than five years following the completion of the work.

To obtain an Application to receive an Application to obtain the benefits of the CLEAR-Win Program and to begin application process, contact one of the CLEAR-Win grantee agencies listed below:

Christian County Health Department: 
902 W. Springfield Road 
Taylorville, IL 62568
Phone: 217-824-4113

City of Springfield 
107 Municipal Center E.
Springfield, IL 62701
Phone: 217-789-2377

Ford County Public Health Department
235 N. Taft St.
Paxton, IL 60957
Phone: 217-379-9281

Lee County Health Department  
309 S. Galena Ave. 
Ste 100 Dixon, IL 61021
Phone: 815-284-3371

Montgomery County Health Department  
11191 Illinois Route 185 
Hillsboro, IL 62049
Phone: 217-532-2001

Winnebago County Health Department  
555 N. Court St.
P.O. Box 4009 
Rockford, IL 61103
Phone: 815-720-4118

Illinois Environmental Contractors Association Resources

For more information on finding a local contractor to assist with asbestos, lead and other regulated substance information or if you have general questions regarding environmental regulations, check the resources below:


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