If abortion were asbestos, would it be banned by now? According to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (October 1996), a review of 23 independent studies of induced abortions and breast cancer shows “a remarkably consistent, significant positive association between induced abortion and breast cancer incidence….The increased risk is seen in both prospective and retrospective studies from around the world, in populations with the widest imaginable differences in ethnicity, diet, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors…. Although the increase in risk was relatively low, the high incidence of both breast cancer and induced abortion suggest a substantial impact of thousands of excess cases per year currently, and a potentially much greater impact in the next century, as the first cohort of women exposed to legal induced abortion continues to age.”

Chicago is catching up with the suburbs–of 40 years ago–in the number of vehicles per household. According to statistics compiled by the Chicago Area Transportation Study, Chicago households now average 1.02 cars apiece. In 1950 Will County residents averaged 1.04.

Number of convicted rapists not hired to drive Illinois school buses due to required fingerprint checks, according to Secretary of State George Ryan: 5 of 6,647 new applicants.

“My first interest was in cars, not computers,” says Kevin Washington, a data-processing analyst at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in UIC News (September 11). “I probably would have become a mechanic if I hadn’t started working with computers. When I first started in 1975, you needed some kind of skill with machines to work with computers.”

Surveys we wondered about. What impact did losing your job have on your spending patterns? According to a recent survey sponsored by the outplacement firm Drake Beam Morin, 5 percent of the respondents said they had increased their household expenses.

Class solidarity? Could most homeless people find a place to live permanently if they really wanted to? More Chicagoans (23 percent) strongly believe they could than suburbanites (18 percent), according to the Metro Chicago Information Center. More Latinos believe it (48 percent) than blacks (18 percent) or whites (15 percent). And more low-income people think so (27 percent) than middle- or upper-income people (16 percent).

“The Republicans have missed an opportunity here,” Juan Rangel, president of the United Neighborhood Organization, tells Paul Cuadros in Illinois Issues (November). “I think Mexicans are more conservative and share many of the same values that Republicans have. If they keep advocating this anti-immigrant stance, they will alienate Latinos.”

“Old hands in the labor movement were startled that the AFL-CIO was able to pull off the new project [Union Summer] so quickly,” writes David Moberg in In These Times (November 25). “Indeed, [director Andy] Levin was worried when Union Summer was initiated in February that there wouldn’t be enough volunteers. Instead, the federation received more than 3,500 applications, mostly from students attending non-elite schools. Of the participants, nearly three-fifths were women, over half were people of color, and 42 percent came from union families.”

Press releases we didn’t finish. “What do you think of when you hear ‘male hormones’? Ask a man 45 or over, and the last answer you’ll get is ‘disease.'” Yeah, but have you tried asking a woman?

That’s a net benefit of $13.40 per tree per year. According to a U.S. Forest Service study reported in the suburban-based Arbor Topics (Fall/Winter), “planting 95,000 trees in two counties would result in a net savings of $38 million dollars over a thirty year period”–because while they would cost $21 million to plant and maintain, they would reduce pollution and energy costs by $59 million.

The kids are not all right. Latchkey kids–home alone at least two days a week–are more than twice as likely to smoke, three times more likely to have been drunk, and five times more likely to have used marijuana in the past month, according to a survey of Illinois fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders in the Journal of Drug Education that was coauthored by U. of I.’s Peter Mulhall.