Mother worried about children being exposed to lead


DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — It’s been mentally draining for everyone — and one woman fears it could impact her child’s health.

Tests were done Friday afternoon showing lead was found in Tyra Harris’ apartment.

Everyday tasks like cooking and caring for your family can be a burden when the safety of your children is at the top of your mind. Harris says her daughter was tested for lead over 2 years ago and the results came back positive.

“I was concerned because lead is something you don’t play with,” she says.

She adds she’s been trying to get something done about it ever since. Harris reached out to her landlord in Decatur and the public health department, but she says she kept getting the runaround.

“I feel less of a mother. Because you know it’s a mother’s job to protect their baby and I do the best I can to protect them but I can’t protect my baby from the lead,” Harris says.

Her daughter — who’s now 3 — had another test done this month. It was positive. She says this time, the Illinois Department of Public Health checked on her home.

“Lead,” she says. “Lead in the tub. Lead dust all through the house.”

The reports showed lead dust on the floor and “potential moderate risk” in the upstairs bathtub.

“You don’t want to cook with it and you don’t feel comfortable bathing,” says Harris’ mother.

The family says they are still waiting for something to be done.

“I feel like it’s taken a toll on my daughter,” she adds. “It’s already took a toll on my grandchild and the problem is only getting worse. No one is listening.”

“Right now with the pandemic going on, it’s kind of hard looking for a stable place,” says Harris, “but I know I can’t keep living here because of this problem.”

WCIA reached out to the Decatur Housing Authority, which has not responded. The Macon County Health Department said they cannot confirm or deny someone’s private information.

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