NEWSLETTER OF THE NORTHWEST COOK COUNTY GROUP OF THE SIERRA CLUB | SUMMER 2007
Creating Healthy Homes
By SHARON WEINSTEIN, R.N.
A recap of clearing invasive
buckthorn on Earth Day
We’d like to think that our homes are
safe havens. But if we’re not careful, certain
products and designs can create health
Spring Valley Events risks.
Pollutant levels inside our homes and
A schedule of Spring Valley
ofﬁces may be two to ﬁve times higher than
events from July to October
the air outside. Combine that fact with the
realization that we spend 75 to 90 percent of
our time indoors and we can see why indoor
air quality has become a major concern.
The goings-on of the NWCCG Multiple-chemical sensitivity is a
every year is making people sick.
for the next few months heightened reaction to substances that cause
Symptoms and health effects range
PAGE 17 symptoms ranging from respiratory ailments
from mild short-term acute effects, such as
to depression and anxiety. The cause, the
sneezing, itchy eyes, and general discomfort,
prevalence, and even the existence of this
to more serious long-term effects, such as
For the most up-to-date news,
and other disorders, such as ﬁbromyalgia—a
respiratory disorders, lung cancer, and a
be sure to visit us on the Web:
musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder—
weakened immune system.
are the subjects of debate. The growing
And, some people report that they react to
consensus, however, is that the ﬂood of new
chemicals introduced into the environment PLEASE TURN TO PAGE 18
Veterinarians and Wildlife Biology
By SUZIE CROMBIE date, the program has helped educate at White Oak Conservation Center and
300 veterinarians, many of whom half at Harbor Branch Oceanographic
Envirovet was started in 1991 by voluntarily come back to lecture, Institution in Florida.
Val Beasley, of the College of Veterinary guide ﬁeld exercises, and mentor new White Oak maintains genetically
Medicine of the University of Illinois, to students. Students in the program diverse populations of endangered
carry out his lifelong vision of bringing come from all over the world, creating species and leads professional efforts
veterinary medicine together with a diverse learning environment and to improve veterinary care, develop
wildlife biology. Though a small-animal establishing a network for ﬁeld work holistic animal management techniques,
veterinarian himself, he wanted to do after the program ends. and better understand the biology of
more in the domain of the ecosystem. The program’s ﬁrst session focuses critically endangered species.
Envirovet is an intensive course on terrestrial and aquatic wildlife Students also travel to St.
for veterinarians and students whose and ecosystem health in developed Catherine’s Island, a location closed
alumni include Joan Embery, of Johnny countries. It provides four weeks of to the public, where they learn about
Carson fame; Leslie Dierauf, who directs lecture, ﬁeld experience and laboratory radio tracking of free-ranging wildlife,
the National Wildlife Health Center in work that demonstrate wildlife health geographical aspects of conservation,
Madison, Wisconsin; and Lawrence in the context of the ecosystem health and in situ stewardship of amphibians,
Mugisha, who runs the Ngamba Island and what, they, as veterinarians,
PLEASE TURN TO PAGE 17
Chimpanzee sanctuary in Uganda. To can do. Half of this session is spent
From the Chair
Earth Day was a great success! If the day
Over 120 volunteers cut brush seemed to ﬂow
and sawed, hauled and burned the smoothly, this
invasive buckthorn. Others planted is largely due to
oaks and some picked up roadside the many Master
trash. Our energy was fueled by Stewards who
members of Boy Scout Troop 495 participated.
(Elk Grove Village) and Cub Scout These volunteers
Troop 286 (Arlington Heights). were always
Everyone worked hard and we there—offering
really appreciate their helping their friendly
Some of our more notable brush tightening up a
cutters included John Rogner, a burning brush
ﬁeld supervisor with the U.S. Fish pile, encouraging
and Wildlife Service, Cook County a tired beginner.
Which group was one of the main sponsors of the event?
Commissioner Mike Quigley, and Thank you to Dave
Congresswoman Melissa Bean and Cook, Kim Keper, efforts.
her nephews. I want to thank John, Ginger Underwood, Jim Voris and Our Earth Day event was co-
Mike and Congresswoman Bean for John Yapelli. sponsored by the Northwest Cook
their continued support of Spring The Northwest Cook County County Group, Sierra Club, the
Creek. Group’s volunteer support supplied Forest Preserve District of Cook
Kristina Anderson and Peter everything they promised, and County, Spring Creek Stewards;
Wessel with the Riding Club of more! Tables were set up, drivers The Riding Club of Barrington Hills,
Barrington Hills supplied lunch, were directed to parking, water was Audubon-Chicago Region; Citizens
snacks and much-needed water. boiled, people were greeted as they for Conservation, Fox River Valley
Kristina and Peter, you are arrived. Tad brought his sons to Pony Club, The League of Women
wonderful. The event will remain help—two extra-hard workers. Tom Voters Palatine Area.
clear in my memory thanks to an delivered the good weather that he A reminder: Public Lands Day
extremely reliable photographer, promised. Greg left his new son to is Sept 29. We will once again be
Jim Haba, who came back home join us for the workday. All of your working in Spring Creek. Come
from out of state for this event! efforts made this day perfect. out and join us. If you’d like to help
Jim is a professional photographer Thank you to Steve Packard for with the planning, please call me at
who covers corporate events. His the education and also many thanks 847.967.7835.
company, 20/20 Communications, is to the Forest Preserve employees,
in Elk Grove Village, 847.364.7666. who have always supported our —Donna Hriljac
Master Steward Dave Cook, left, gives instructions on buckthorn removal. Right, the demise of the buckthorn.
All photos courtesy of Jim Haba
Spring Valley Events Group Calendar
July and August
Sunday, July 8. 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Mowing & Mooing at the Heritage Farm
Enjoy the the Summer!
We’ll be harvesting the mid-summer hay crop with draft horses and
milking the dairy cow. Back at the farmhouse, process fresh cow’s milk into August 25th
cheese and ice cream. There will also be refreshments, games, and crafts. Sierra Club NWCCG Picnic
$1.50 per person. Take a hayride from the Nature Center to the Farm. Watch for info.
Friday, July 13. 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. September 13th
Nature’s Night Life Program Meeting
An educational walk around Spring Valley for adults. Pre-registration Topic yet to be announced.
required, so please call in advance.
Friday, July 27. 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Public Lands Day
Lights in the Night Spring Creek Preserve
A ﬁreﬂy program for youngsters. Pre-registration required so call in advance. We will be hauling away trash and doing
our regular ecological restoration work.
Saturday, Sept. 22. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
We will have a variety of area and eco co-
National Public Lands Day
sponsors. Come out and join us. It is a great
A morning of native seed collecting. All of the seed is dried, cleaned, and
day outside, for a great cause, with some
used to replant additional acres of native wildﬂowers and grasses in Schaum-
great people! If you’d like to help with the
burg’s parks and nature preserves. Learn ways to heal the land and help
planning, please call Donna at 847.967.7835.
restore rare plants and animals. All participants will receive a free packet of
native wildﬂower seed. Free and open to all ages, but please call the Nature Program meetings are held on the
Center at 847.985.2100 to RSVP. second Thursday of the month, September
through June, at the Spring Valley Nature
Sunday, October 7. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sanctuary at 1111 East Schaumburg Road
Autumn Harvest Festival
in Schaumburg. Meetings start at 7:00
Demonstrations of 19th century farm life at the Volkening Heritage
p.m. and the program, focusing on natural
Farm. Activities include cider pressing, woodstove cooking, blacksmithing,
history or environmental issues, starts
and horse-powered threshing, primitive ﬁre starting, campﬁre cooking,
at 7:30 p.m. Meetings are free and open
musket ﬁring, and more. Children’s activities, live music, hayrides, and sales
to the public. For more info, contact Greg
of refreshments will be available. $3 per person. Call 847.985.2100.
Stolzer at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Spring Valley is located at 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, just west of Meacham
Also, see the Outings section of Lake &
Road. Call (847) 985-2100 for reservations or more information.
Prairie for more information on events.
Envirovet: Treating Wild Animals
at Davis, Tom Lovejoy of the Heinz between wildlife and domestic animals,
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
Center for Science Economics and but also between wildlife and human
gopher tortoises and sea turtles. The the Environment, Jeff Zuba of the populations. Students also undertake
aquatic session at Harbor Branch San Diego Zoo, Daniel Martineau of hands-on work in wildlife health
features research submarines, estuarine the University of Montreal, and Greg assessment, and preventive medicine
and reef assessments, ecological Bossart of Harbor Branch. related to the interface of national parks
toxicology and ecosystem health for The second session teaches and private lands.
ﬁsh, and marine birds and mammals. students to work across national Val Beasley’s vision is growing
The students are trained through boundaries. Each year the location daily. Past students return to the
postmortem examinations of frozen varies, but during the last few years ﬁeld with new insights, and use their
sections of multiple species of birds and it has been organized in South Africa new knowledge and skills to make a
marine mammals from spontaneous or Swaziland. Students explore difference for wildlife populations.
major lethal events in the ﬁeld. Faculty opportunities to see what types of —Suzie Crombie is a freelance ﬁlm
of the terrestrial and aquatic units hail problems these countries deal with and editor and videographer. She is currently
from across the U.S. and Canada, and the many ways in which veterinarians working on a ﬁlm for Envirovet. For
include such experts as Scott Citino of are needed. These include preventing more information, see: www.cvm.uiuc.
White Oak, Kirsten Gilardi and Jonna diseases and gene-jumping not only edu/envirovet/index.html.
Mazet of the University of California
Home Health Havens
scented personal products can be big
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
the leaf offenders. There are approximately
chemicals in their environments; these
5,000 chemicals registered for use in
allergy-like reactions seem to relate to
Summer 2007 personal products that can negatively
exposure to a wide variety of synthetic
impact the immune system of a child.
and natural substances, including
Disclaimer: Published quarterly, the leaf The National Institute of Environmental
paints, carpeting, plastics, perfumes,
is the ofﬁcial newsletter of the North- Health Sciences has explored the link
cigarette smoke, and plants. In my own
west Cook County Group of the Sierra
between children, the environment
home, I keep pollen and spore counts
Club. Opinions expressed in articles are
and neurotoxicity. According to the
solely those of the author and do not down with an air ﬁltration system based
American Academy of Pediatrics
necessarily reﬂect those of the Sierra on creation of negative ions. The ﬁve
Committee on Environmental Health,
Club. the leaf may be redistributed as ﬁlter system ensures air quality. I also
the toxins that invade our homes and
long as the content remains unaltered
keep my air conditioning system set on
and full credit is given both to the au- accumulate in the immune systems
recirculate to reduce pollen and mold.
thor and to the Northwest Cook Group. of children contribute to learning
Today’s homebuilders strive to
Copyrights for the print and electronic disabilities, hyperactivity, and Attention
build homes that meet the demands
content belong to the Sierra Club and
and needs of health-conscious home
the Northwest Cook County Group.
As a homeowner, parent, or
buyers, as today’s consumers are well-
grandparent you can be involved in
EDITORS educated about indoor air quality,
making healthier decisions for your
Laura Franzen radon, and environmentally correct
family. Health-conscious homeowners
are now buying cutting boards and
Banning toxins is another
email@example.com countertops treated with bacteriocides.
They have also
LAYOUT AND DESIGN
“There are approximately found that silver
and copper are
firstname.lastname@example.org rejecting the use
5,000 chemicals registered naturally sanitizing.
of natural gases,
For information on
for use in personal
to some studies
to incorporate into
products that can
is believed to
CHAIR your home, visit www.
Donna Hriljac negatively impact the pathnet.org or www.
immune system of a child.”
are ripping out
On the cutting
CONSER VATION CHAIR carpets, which can
edge of wellness
Vacant trap toxic fumes. The good news is
technology are materials that radiate
that carpets, paints, wood treatments,
far-infrared rays, a part of the sun’s
ENERGY CHAIR (STATE)
drapes and bedding are increasingly
invisible spectrum that can penetrate
Tom Borchard, 847.390.8386
available in nontoxic versions, devoid of
email@example.com deep into human tissues. Such
substances linked to carcinogens.
materials have been widely used in
“Healthy Homes” is a century-old
FUNDRAISING CHAIR Japan for years and are gaining respect
concept that promotes safe, decent,
here as germ-zappers and remedies
and sanitary housing. Healthy housing
for ailments such as arthritis and
MEMBERSHIP CHAIR is receiving considerable attention
ﬁbromyalgia. These materials are
Greg Stolzer, 847.368.0483 from public health professionals and
available in comforters manufactured
policymakers as a result of emerging
by Nikken, a Japanese wellness
scientiﬁc evidence linking health
OUTINGS CHAIR company.
outcomes, such as asthma and lead
Scott Etienne A healthy home can and should be a
poisoning to substandard housing.
firstname.lastname@example.org healing home. Good health begins and
Such unhealthy substandard housing
ends with you!
POLITICAL CHAIR can be seen across economic lines!
Barbara Hill, 847.991.3204 Even expensive new homes may have
—Sharon Weinstein is a registered nurse,
email@example.com biohazards lurking within. So, what is a
health educator, author and wellness and
homeowner to do?
environmental specialist. Visit her online
VISIT US ON THE WEB:
First, assess how unhealthy your
www.illinois.sierraclub.org/NWCook at: www.corelimited.com. She can be
home might be. Examine cleaning-
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
supply labels and pesticides. Even