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The Illinois Department of Public Health's Division of Epidemiologic Studies is responsible for developing and managing the Illinois Health and Hazardous Substances Registry (Illinois Health and Hazardous Substances Registry Act [410 ILCS 525/1 et seq.], enacted in September 1984).

The registry’s goal is to develop and maintain a unified system for collecting and compiling statewide information on cancer incidence, adverse pregnancy outcomes, occupational diseases and hazardous exposures; for correlating and analyzing information on public health outcomes and hazardous substances; and for using this information in decision making and public health policy development.

The division created three registries to collect the above information: the Illinois State Cancer Registry, the Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Reporting System and the Occupational Disease Registry. All reports are geocoded to small census areas and assigned latitude and longitude coordinates for the Illinois Hazardous Substances Registry.

The Illinois State Cancer Registry (ISCR) is the only population-based source for cancer incidence information in Illinois. Cancer cases are collected through mandated reporting by hospitals, ambulatory surgical treatment centers, non-hospital affiliated radiation therapy treatment centers and independent pathology labs and through the voluntary exchange of cancer patient data with central registries in other states.

The Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Reporting System (APORS) collects information on Illinois infants born with birth defects or other abnormal conditions. The purpose of APORS is to conduct surveillance on birth defects, to guide public health policy in the reduction of adverse pregnancy outcomes, and to identify and refer children who require special services to correct and prevent developmental problems and other disabling conditions.

The Occupational Disease Registry (ODR) has several components: the Adult Blood Lead Registry (ABLR), Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) and Surveillance of Occupational Diseases and Injuries (SODI). In October 1998, the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) was implemented to collect information on non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses.

Additionally, the Division of Epidemiologic Studies responds to inquiries about perceived cancer clusters by providing information and educational materials about the diseases of cancer. The division also conducts epidemiologic research projects, which are published in its Epidemiologic Report Series and scientific peer-reviewed journals.