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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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Code Black Toolkit

Coal's Assault on America's Health

The Code Black Toolkit contains:

More materials will be coming soon.

How to Order the Materials:

Click here to download the mail-in order form.

How Health Professionals Can Use the "Code Black Toolkit"
to Take Action

1. Learn with us about coal’s impact on health and on the planet.
With total disregard for coal’s deadly health impact on scores of American communities -- and the entire planet -- Big Coal seeks to build more than 100 new coal-fired energy plants.  Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) takes this assault on America’s health with the utmost seriousness.  Code Black is PSR’s program to inform health professionals about the multiple threats that coal poses to public health, and to help health professionals strengthen local efforts to oppose and defeat the approval or licensing of new coal-fired plants.

The materials in this packet provide a solid foundation for grasping the health impacts of coal and those of global warming.  More information will be posted periodically on the Code Black website -- visit it at

2.  Take a stand to assure that our communities have safe, healthy sources of power. 

The American people turn to doctors and nurses for reliable information on issues of health and safety.  Use that trust and respect to provide positive leadership by insisting that energy sources be safe and healthy. 

  • Post Code Black educational materials in your health care waiting room, in hospitals and in health clinics.  Download materials above. Use the order form in the Code Black Toolkit to order informational posters, tee shirts and other resources. 
  • Draw on Code Black materials to write letters to the editor or op-ed articles for local newspapers.  Voice your concern as a health care professional, highlighting both the toxic pollutants that coal combustion spews out, and coal’s significant contribution to greenhouse gases and global warming.
  • PSR and Student PSR members and chapters can circulate petitions, distribute information at health fairs, and voice your concerns to candidates and elected officials. 
  • If there’s a new coal plant planned in your state, call or email Barbara Gottlieb, Environment & Health Program Manager, for information on local opposition efforts:, 202-587-5225.

3.  Mobilize the medical community to prevent global warming and health risks caused by coal.

As you lead, bring other health professionals along with you.  Educate your fellow health professionals where you live and work about the deadly threats that coal-fired plants pose to health.  Work with your local affiliates of health professional associations (AMA, ANA, APHA, etc.) to pass resolutions opposing the construction and licensing of new coal-fired plants.

For support, resources and draft resolutions, contact Barbara Gottlieb, Environment & Health Program Manager, at

Together, we can stop coal’s assault on America’s health.  Because power shouldn’t be poisonous.


Page Updated October 8, 2013

Browse Resources


  • Ash in Lungs

    PSR and Earthjustice's new report explores the health impacts of breathing coal ash dust. Read more »

  • PSR Expert Testimony on Coal Ash

    Chesapeake PSR is suing the EPA over a proposed delay in a rule that slashes coal ash waste discharges into rivers and streams. PSR National Environment & Health Director Barbara Gottlieb gave expert testimony on the health impacts of coal ash disposal. Read more »

  • Selling Our Health Down the River

    Coauthored by PSR’s Barb Gottlieb, this report details the toxic coal ash pollution that coal-burning power plants dump into U.S. waterways. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • April 28, 2018
    2018 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship Awards Ceremony
    Join Oregon PSR to celebrate the high school student winners of this year's scholarship. Featuring keynote speaker Marshallese anti-nuclear and climate activist and poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner. April 28 at 6 pm in Portland, Oregon.