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  • Old friends, new partners for peace, and much work to do back in the USA
    Posted by Andrew S. Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI on August 27, 2010

    Some initial thoughts upon arriving at the first official day of the 19th IPPNW World Congress in Basel, Switzerland… Due to poor time planning, I arrived later than usual and I unfortunately was unable to participate in the International Council meeting and the Student Congress. It was nice to hear from Ira, Ashish and Peter, though! It is a rainy morning here in Basel, and it would normally be the wee hours of the morning back in New York, so I am functioning on the adrenalin of seeing so many old friends. It is truly wonderful to see everyone here. You realize that this is a big family all working for our planet. Read more »

  • Student PSR Leader "part of a larger movement"
    Posted by Craig Levoy on August 26, 2010

    The morning starts early with a Plenary entitled “Uranium and Environment.” The first presenter discusses nuclear medicine. Primarily, he focuses on the fact that traditionally nuclear medicine has used the same type of Uranium that is necessary for building a nuclear weapon (the so-called Highly Enriched Uranium, or HEU). However, he explains that recently, thanks to pressure from groups like PSR/IPPNW, most medical facilities around the world have switched to the non-weapons grade Uranium (LEU), without any deficit in patient care. Read more »

  • Day 2
    Posted by Craig Levoy on August 26, 2010

    The morning starts early with a Plenary entitled “Uranium and Environment.” The first presenter discusses nuclear medicine. Primarily, he focuses on the fact that traditionally nuclear medicine has used the same type of Uranium that is necessary for building a nuclear weapon (the so-called Highly Enriched Uranium, or HEU). However, he explains that recently, thanks to pressure from groups like PSR/IPPNW, most medical facilities around the world have switched to the non-weapons grade Uranium (LEU), without any deficit in patient care. Read more »

  • Peter Wilk, MD 19th IPPNW World Congress & the Challenges at Home
    Posted by Peter Wilk, MD on August 26, 2010

    I am just arriving in Switzerland, a stunningly beautiful country, travelling from the Zurich airport through well manicured countryside to the site of the 19th World Congress of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in Basel. The Swiss rail system is well organized; the train ride is smooth and fast. I am confident the Congress, the first plenary session of which begins tomorrow, will be equally well organized. All indications are for the largest attendance in many years. It will be wonderful to gather there with colleagues from around the world. Read more »
    2 comment(s)

  • On the Ground in Basel: Initial Reflections
    Posted by Ashish Sinha on August 25, 2010

    The first day of the World Congress in Basel begins with a palpable energy in the room. The first two days are devoted to the students and workshops oriented around building their capacity to be leaders when they return to their home countries. Some had been at the last World Congress in Delhi and greet fellow student activists that they had not seen in two years. Many, new to this conference, start meeting students around the room to begin their first introduction to the international nuclear disarmament community. Over 700 people registered for this week's conference; one of the largest in recent history. The organizers ask everyone to find their seat. The 19th IPPNW World Congress is about to begin. Read more »

  • Day 1
    Posted by Craig Levoy on August 25, 2010

    After 18 hours of travel (and some lost luggage), I have arrived in Basel, Switzerland. The beauty of this city is breathtaking, and the people could not be more gracious. You find yourself constantly walking through the streets, taking in all the amazing sights, sounds, and smells of the city; as you might imagine, with all the distractions, it takes me a while to find myself to the conference site. Read more »

  • Student PSR Leader Reports - Day 1
    Posted by Craig Levoy on August 25, 2010

    After 18 hours of travel (and some lost luggage), I have arrived in Basel, Switzerland. The beauty of this city is breathtaking, and the people could not be more gracious. You find yourself constantly walking through the streets, taking in all the amazing sights, sounds, and smells of the city; as you might imagine, with all the distractions, it takes me a while to find myself to the conference site. Read more »

  • IPPNW World Congress off to an energetic start
    Posted by Ira Helfand, MD on August 24, 2010

    The 19th IPPNW World Congress got off to an energetic start this afternoon with the arrival here in Basel of the BAN (Biking Against Nukes) student bike tour. More than 30 medical students from every continent except Antarctica arrived in the Marktplatz in front of the Basel City Hall at exactly 5:30 pm--this is Switzerland--after a 700 kilometer trip that started in Dusseldorf 10 days ago. Read more »

  • The new face of TSCA
    Posted by Shilpa Gogna on August 16, 2010

    Following Senator Lautenberg’s introduction of the Safe Chemicals Act in April, House Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) introduced the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act 2010, H.R. 5820, a bill that updates the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Read more »

  • Importance of Medical Advocacy
    Posted by Neethu Putta on August 6, 2010

    On the surface, nuclear weapons, safe energy, environmental toxins, and other PSR issues may not seem like medical concerns. When I introduce myself as an intern for PSR and explain PSR’s mission, most people question the relation between nuclear weapons and medicine—this is the fallacy I want to address, and one of the reasons SPSR has created the student activist toolkit. Read more »

  • EPA rejects petitions to overturn findings that greenhouse gases threaten human health
    Posted by Neethu Putta on July 30, 2010

    Climate change's future health consequences will be severe if we continue to turn a blind eye to it; we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now. Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson announced that the agency will deny 10 petitions calling for the agency to reconsider its determination that six greenhouse gases in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. Read more »

  • A Medical Student for Safer Chemicals
    Posted by Shilpa Gogna on July 26, 2010

    On May 6th, the President’s Cancer Panel issued a report expressing concern over the increasing number of toxics and cancer-causing substances which are being released into the environment. The report called for greater regulation of industrial chemicals as well as increased awareness of the problems associated with their dangers. Read more »

  • The Spoilers
    Posted by John Rachow, MD on July 16, 2010

    Senator Robert Byrd died June 28, 2010. He was remarkable and surprising in many ways and probably the last of a kind. One bit of trivia emerged that jogged my memory. Senator Byrd was a dedicated fan of the TV show “Gunsmoke,” and he advanced a resolution in the Senate protesting the end of the long running series in 1975. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • PSR & Grow the Hope event, Sunday 6/27/2010
    Posted on July 9, 2010

    Stepping out of the Bethesda metro station into the blinding sunlight, I warily tried to navigate my way to David Hart’s house. I was excited to join a group of motivated individuals, both from PSR and Grow the Hope, a movement for progressive social change and supporters of President Barack Obama, to discuss the importance of nuclear disarmament. Read more »

  • Inside the Boardroom of the Chemical Industry
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on July 7, 2010

    Do you sometimes wonder how the chemical industry can be so oblivious to human health considerations? Consider the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA). SOCMA officially opposes the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010, introduced by Senator Lautenberg in April, which proposes updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time since its passage in 1976. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Better Living through Chemistry? A radio interview
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on June 28, 2010

    We depend on chemicals in consumer products to perform as expected, and to be safe. But our regulatory system is not adequately protecting us from potential hazards in our food cans, diapers, shower curtains, baby bottles, and other consumer products. Listen to Washington State PSR President, Dr. Steven Gilbert, a toxicologist, together with pediatric urologist and PSR board member Dr. Rich Grady, discuss chemicals policy in an insightful and illuminating radio interview. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • "Safety prescription from Doctor Dad"
    Posted by Molly Rauch, MPH on June 22, 2010

    Last week, PSR Maine member Jeff Peterson wrote a letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald. As a pediatrician and a father, he wrote about the importance of strong chemical policy reform Read more »

  • Countdown to Zero – a documentary
    Posted by Neethu Putta on June 22, 2010

    Nuclear disarmament is a challenge that requires ongoing education around the risks tied to the very existence of the weapons themselves. PSR and our international affiliate International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), have been working on this issue for decades. While we’ve made some progress, the threat of nuclear war continues to loom over the world. With just a few missiles, the whole world could be annihilated. Prominent officials including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and President Obama are now attempting to heed Kennedy’s wise words before these weapons “abolish us.” As the title of this blog post prompts, we need to destroy these weapons... or they will destroy us. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Age of Horrorism
    Posted by John Rachow, MD on June 1, 2010

    The Japanese called the atomic bomb "Original Child Bomb." The makers of the bomb called it "Little Boy." The way early twentieth century physics was unfolding, perhaps it was inevitable that the drive to understand how the world works would have eventually led to development of nuclear weapons. Or perhaps not. Perhaps the perceived desperation of impending World War turned human endeavor in this direction. Perhaps the need to demonstrate the power of this weapon to U.S. enemies and allies alike led to the first use of a nuclear weapon. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Avoiding More Predictable Disasters
    Posted on May 18, 2010

    The current manmade environmental oil disaster of the Deepwater Horizon Oil blowout on April 20, 2010 happens to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the radiation disaster at Chernobyl on April 27, 1986. This is, therefore, an ideal time to consider the nature and effect of manmade disasters, which should give us guidance as to the direction of our future energy plans. Read more »

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