Health and Science

VIDEO: First large-scale green roof in Chicago

By Adriana Cargill

Chicago’s first permitted large-scale commercial green roof farm is set to open in the West Loop this summer. The two Chicago companies behind the project will begin planting in mid to late April.  They hope this will be the start of something big.

According to City of Chicago Data from 2010, there is the equivalent of 95 football fields’ worth of green roofs in Chicago and that number grows every year.

Continue reading

Chicago day cares, parents tighten measles precautions

By Meg Anderson

Young moms chatted between cloth diaper displays, with wide-eyed babies dangling and cooing in carriers. But amid the heady odor of lotion samples and soiled diapers, the threat of measles loomed in many minds at MommyCon, a natural parenting convention.

“Honestly, it pisses me off that we have to worry about it,” said Michelle Pizarro, 30, as she sat feeding eight-month-old Mila at the Feb. 21 convention in Rosemont.

Continue reading

Cutting the wheat from the chaff: truths behind gluten free

By Jamie Friedlander

After spending six weeks in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2006, I returned home incredibly sick. I had sallow skin, dark circles under my eyes, severe fatigue, abdominal pain and more than anything, I had to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes. My parents took one look at me when I got off the plane and knew something was wrong.

My pediatrician assumed I had contracted some sort of parasite in Mexico, but after months of testing, he was stumped. He sent me to a gastroenterologist, who specializes in diseases of the digestive tract.  But she  couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was still sick. I knew the doctors were worried because for several months (brace yourself) my stools were pale peach. Continue reading

Health survey yields shocking results about HIV workforce

By Dawnn Anderson

A recent health survey revealed a significant number of the HIV workforce is ill-informed about the virus. Of the 135 AIDS workers in Chicago who participated in the HIV Workforce Study, they scored 63 percent, equivalent to a “D” average.

More than 3,600 people participated in the study nationwide and scored 61 percent. Officials at the Black AIDS Institute say it is too early to determine whether one’s lack of knowledge will directly affect clinical practice regarding prevention and treatment.

“Before, it wasn’t incumbent of the HIV workforce to know about science and treatment, because medical doctors were initially charged with the task of informing the public,” said Anthony Guitierrez, BAI’s mobilization manager. Continue reading

Health professionals: more alcohol deaths than CDC report suggests

By Dani Anguiano

Several health care professionals have said that a recently released CDC report, which revealed that on average, six people die from alcohol poisoning each day in the United States, while jarring – doesn’t show the full societal cost of excessive drinking.

According to the CDC report released earlier this year, researchers found that the majority of people dying are middle-aged, white males who aren’t alcoholics.  Continue reading

VIDEO: Pets enjoy massages at pet resort

By Siyao Long

Paradise 4 Paws, a Chicago-based pet resort, offers Spot or Kitty massage therapy with handmade scents at $27 for 15 minutes and $47 for 30 minutes. 

Pet owners say the therapy provides flexibility and eases the aches for aging pets.

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $55.7 billion on their pets in 2013,  and most likely spent more last year. 

Continue reading

VIDEO: Where does all that snow salt go?

By Siyao Long

While snow salt does its job, some people worry about the lingering pollution of the white residue it leaves behind. 

The salt ends up in the sewage system and goes to water treatment plants. But there’s no special treatment process to remove the salt, according to Antonio Quintanilla, who works for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

Continue reading

The Road to recovery: mom and daughter bond to defeat eating disorder

By Priyam Vora

“I just wanted to look pretty. I wanted to be accepted. I wanted to be thin.”

These are 26-years-old Ashley Ice’s words when she speaks about the eating disorder that she battled for six long years.  And she was thin – so thin that her young heart was failing. Continue reading

10th Ward Residents Vote: Ban Pet Coke Now

By Sarah Kramer and Lizz Giordano

Residents of Chicago’s 10th Ward voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ban the storage of petroleum coke, a byproduct of the oil refining process.

Nearly 86 percent of  voters favored the ban in Chicago’s Southeast Side 10th Ward. The referendum vote is non-binding, but it’s another loss for Koch Industries-owned KCBX Terminals Company, which has been engaged in a battle with City Hall over the handling of the dusty black piles. Continue reading

VIDEO: Chicago’s electric refuse truck, first in the country

By Jennifer Leonard

Chicago is the first city – not only in the United States but in North America – to own an electric refuse truck. Drive Clean Chicago, an incentive program funded by The Department of Transportation, is trying to make Chicago more sustainable by helping the city implement hybrid and electric vehicles into its transportation system.

Drive Clean Chicago works with Chicago fleet owners and offers voucher programs to make the purchase of alternative fuel vehicles more accessible and affordable. Continue reading