toxic chemicals

Add a Green-Themed Activity to Your Block Party

Add a Green-Themed Activity to Your Block Party

Planning a block party in Oak Park for July, Aug or Sept? Check out these green-themed “show & tell” activities offered by Green Community Connections and partners.

Connect to Action: Separating fact from fiction with yard-care chemicals

It shouldn’t be so hard to know what is safe for our families when it comes to caring for our yards.  And yet, we get contradictory messages from advertising and from news stories about scientific research on the safety of common lawn care products.  It's important for us to become informed and make our own judgments as homeowners, parents and citizens. On Monday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m., at the Oak Park Main Library, we will have an opportunity to learn from a scientist who has done research in this area, ask questions and talk to others about what they are doing in their yards.  Dr. Warren Porter, biologist, environmental toxicologist and researcher from the University of Wisconsin, will share research findings regarding the safety of common pesticides and GMO products – in terms that lay people can understand. Continue reading for more information.

Dr. Porter’s research has focused on how pesticide mixtures, at very low levels of concentration, affect developmental processes, as well as the functioning of important body systems, including the immune, endocrine and neurological systems.


The presentation will address questions such as

  • How can pesticides get into our bodies?
  • What does research show about the health impacts of chemical pesticides?
  • Doesn’t the EPA registration process protect us from unsafe chemical pesticides?
  • What about very low-dose exposures to chemical pesticides?
  • Are there alternative solutions to using chemical pesticides that are effective?
  • What is the relationship between GMO products and pesticides?

Takeaways and opportunities for action:

  • Beyond Pesticides' list of 30 common toxins in lawn care
  • Dr. Porter’s article on the impact of lawn chemicals on learning abilities
  • American Academy of Pediatrics notice to pediatricians to alert their patients to the dangers of toxic exposure
  • Petition for local regulation of pesticide use
  • Food & Water Watch Petition for GMO labeling in Illinois
  • Sign-up for a group that will continue work on this issue in the area

Resources on this topic: 

Beyond Pesticides:

Midwest Pesticide Action Center:

Are low level pesticides and other common chemicals safe?

Girl+Strawberries "If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals -- eating and drinking them into the very marrow of our bones -- we had better know something about their nature and their power."  -- Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

You are invited to a talk by Dr Warren Porter, professor of Biology and Environmental Toxicology.  He is also an invited affiliate faculty member of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Dr Porter will speak on the biological effects of low level pesticide mixtures and other common chemical exposures.

See related article:  The Toxic Brew in our Yards, by Diane Lewis, Sunday, New Your Times Review, Opinion, May 10, 2014

Monday, June 16th, 2014, at 7:00pm, Oak Park Main Library, Oak Park, IL, 834 Lake Street, Veteran's Room.  For more information contact Peggy McGrath, 708-383-3591.

Parking:  Enter the Library parking lot off of Lake Street.  Limited street parking is available on Lake Street and another parking lot is one block south of the library, just East of Oak Park Avenue, at the Green Line "El" train stop.  Enter off of North Blvd.