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Heat Advisory: Protecting Health on a Warming Planet
by Dr. Alan Lockwood

Drawing on peer-reviewed scientific and medical research, Dr. Lockwood meticulously details the symptoms of climate change and their medical side effects.

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Tell Governor Kitzhaber: Consider the Public Health Impacts of Coal Exports

Oregon PSR is working to prevent the state of Oregon from promoting or facilitating any coal export infrastructure or related transportation in our state. As a group of health care professionals, providers and public health advocates, we understand the significant risks to human health posed by massive coal shipments on our rivers and through our communities. We believe that, at the very least, Governor Kitzhaber must review both a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment and a full Environmental Impact Statement before allowing any Oregon agency to grant a permit for any such project.

Help us by joining your colleagues in requesting the development of a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment.

If you are a physician, please read the Position Statement on Coal Exports from concerned Oregon physicians to Governor Kitzhaber to learn more about public health threats associated with proposed coal export through Oregon. Add your name to the statement, or contact Regna Merritt at 971-235-7643 for more details. 

If you are a (non-physician) health professional, public health advocate or if you work in the health community, please read our letter to Governor KitzhaberAdd your name to this letter, or contact Regna Merritt at 971-235-7643 for more details.

This is a time-sensitive request. We wish to present the Position Statement and letter to Governor Kitzhaber and the Oregon Health Authority in early-mid June.

We are glad to learn that Governor Kitzhaber has called for a thorough review of coal export proposals and hope that he will continue to stand up for the health of Oregonians. Read the news release of 4/26/12 from our partners in the Power Past Coal Coalition. 

Watch this fascinating three-minute video highlighting plans to export dirty U.S. coal to Asia. Local voices from Longview, Bellingham, Hood River, and Portland share how coal trains and terminals will harm their communities.

Encourage Senator Wyden to Support the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011

If you are a health care professional, please sign on to this letter urging Oregon Senator Ron Wyden to support the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011. The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 would, for the first time, require the chemical industry to ensure that chemicals are safe before they end up in our homes, schools, and places of work. Introduced by Senator Frank Lautenburg (D-NJ) and cosponsored by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, this is an important piece of legislation that would better protect our families and communities from the numerous, serious health threats posed by the poorly regulated chemical industry. We commend Senator Merkley for co-sponsoring this legislation, and urge Senator Wyden to join him.

Read the full text of the sign-on letter.

Chemicals in commerce are currently regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a statute that has not had a major overhaul since it passed in 1976. TSCA is ineffective, allowing chemicals to enter the market without adequate safety testing. Americans are then exposed to chemicals through consumer products, air, water, soil, and food. 

There are health implications to these exposures. Evidence indicates that industrial chemicals increase the risk of health problems ranging from asthma and infertility to heart disease, obesity, birth defects, neurodevelopmental effects in children, and cancer. Estimates of the proportion of the disease burden that can be attributed to chemicals vary widely; whatever the actual contribution, effective chemical policy reform will incorporate the last 30 years of science to reduce the chemical exposures that contribute to the rising incidence of chronic disease.

Please sign on to the letter and lend your voice as a health professional in support of a safer chemicals policy. Thank you!