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Welcome to PSR's Environmental Health Policy Institute, where we ask questions -- then we ask the experts to answer them. Join us as physicians, health professionals, and environmental health experts share their ideas, inspiration, and analysis about toxic chemicals and environmental health policy.

  • Cancer Disparities: An Environmental Justice Issue for Policy Makers
    Posted by Robin E. Johnson, MD, MPH on June 16, 2011

    Policy makers must address the disparities in the rates of cancers affecting people of color, ethnic minority, and low-income populations. Read more »
    4 comment(s)

  • Is Make-A-Wish All We Have to Offer? Perinatal Prevention of Childhood Cancers
    Posted by Joanne L. Perron, MD FACOG on June 16, 2011

    As a cancer survivor, I have been asked to do many cancer benefit fashion shows. As an unapologetic lover of fashion and bling, I always accept the invitations. Read more »
    2 comment(s)

  • Prenatal Origins of Cancer and Endocrine Disruptors
    Posted by Theo Colborn on June 16, 2011

    The developing embryo and fetus are uniquely vulnerable to environmental chemicals because of the route of exposure through the placenta, and the timing of exposure when their critical life systems are organizing while their bodies are being constructed. Read more »

  • Convenience at What Cost: The Connection Between Chemicals and Breast Cancer
    Posted by Nancy Buermeyer and Connie Engel PhD on June 16, 2011

    After World War II, the United States experienced a chemical revolution. Stockpiles of chemicals developed to fight the war made their way into everyday commerce. Read more »
    16 comment(s)

  • Environmental and Occupational Toxicants and Cancer
    Posted by Richard Clapp on June 16, 2011

    We’ve known for decades that the environment, defined broadly to include general exposures like air and water pollution, occupational exposures and personal exposures such as tobacco smoke and various components of diet, cause the great majority of cancers. Read more »
    4 comment(s)

  • Asleep at the Wheel of the War on Cancer
    Posted by Samuel S. Epstein, MD on June 16, 2011

    Last year, President Obama boldly pledged to reform the national health care system. Central to this reform is containing health care costs which are soaring at about 6% each year. Read more »
    5 comment(s)

  • Time to Heed the Evidence
    Posted by Sean Palfrey on June 16, 2011

    Two generations ago, Rachel Carson woke us up, and her book and others sounded a clarion call that should have changed the country’s laissez faire attitude about inventing, using, and discarding chemicals into our air, water, and soil before we studied them to reassure ourselves that they were harmless. Read more »
    6 comment(s)

  • The Costs of Coal
    Posted by By Paul Epstein, MD MPH and Molly Rauch, MPH on April 14, 2011

    Energy is essential to our daily lives, and is the foundation of our modern, industrial society. But fossil fuels, which feed the energy appetite of our nation and that of most developed nations, cost our society dearly in terms of health, environmental, and economic impacts. Read more »

  • The Benefits of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990
    Posted by Jon Levy, ScD on April 14, 2011

    While there have been many achievements during the 40-year tenure of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) provided tremendous and tangible benefits at a few different levels. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Even on a Clear Day, PM 2.5 Lurks
    Posted by Joanne L. Perron, MD FACOG on April 14, 2011

    Adults breathe at a resting rate of approximately 12 breaths per minute, thus obtaining 3000 gallons of air per day. Exercise, stress, pregnancy, and many medical problems will increase the rate and amount. Read more »
    1 comment(s)

  • Balance the Budget with Clean Air
    Posted by Alan H. Lockwood, MD on April 14, 2011

    Other essays this month will point to specific health-related outcomes that are attributable to the Clean Air Act (CAA) and its amendments. Here, I focus at the overall impact of the Act on our economy. Read more »

  • Particulate Pollution: Regulated, but Still Killing
    Posted by Douglas M. Brugge, PhD MS and Wig Zamore on April 14, 2011

    In the 1990s there was a shocking discovery. After more than 20 years of federal regulations aimed at reducing negative impacts of air pollution and clearing skies above American cities, two major studies found that the pollution that remained was still strongly associated with mortality. Read more »
    3 comment(s)

  • Our Work On Air Toxics Goes Unfinished
    Posted by Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD MSN on April 14, 2011

    The Clean Air Act (CAA) is one of the most important and effective public health laws ever enacted. Read more »

  • Pushing Back Against the Push-Back
    Posted by Lin Kaatz Chary, PhD MPH on April 14, 2011

    Living in Northwest Indiana, in the midst of a highly industrialized area, one of my favorite stories was told by Jean Sheppard, a humorist who came from Hammond, IN. Born in 1921, he grew up near a factory that produced insecticides. Read more »

  • Preventing Exposures to Hazardous Air Pollutants
    Posted by Robert Amundson, PhD on April 14, 2011

    Since implementation of the Clear Air Act of 1970 people across the country breathe healthier air because of much lower concentrations of carbon monoxide, acidic gases of sulfur and nitrogen, lead, particulates, and ozone. Furthermore, ecosystems in the eastern United States are recovering from the effects of acidic precipitation. Why was it so successful? Read more »
    2 comment(s)

  • A Food System Overview from the San Francisco Chapter
    Posted by Lucia Sayre on February 24, 2011

    I would use the phrase “food system” rather than food production system when discussing food and exposure to environmental toxicants. Read more »

  • Waging War on the Insects
    Posted by Steven G. Gilbert, PhD DABT on February 24, 2011

    Human exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental degradation due to our food production system is linked to the ever expanding human population and chemicals developed during the last two world wars, to kill insects as well as humans. Read more »
    8 comment(s)

  • Don’t Blame the Fish! And, don’t prescribe fish.
    Posted by Boyce Thorne Miller and Niaz Dorry on February 24, 2011

    Consumer advisories warning the public to limit their intake of particular fish because they contain high levels of certain chemicals are ubiquitous. On the other hand, the medical community, nutritionists, and government agencies in this country prescribe frequent fish consumption for Omega-3 fatty acids and other positive health factors. Read more »
    5 comment(s)

  • The Story of Strawberries
    Posted by Susan Kegley, PhD on February 24, 2011

    I remember looking forward to May when I was a child -- strawberry season! I would go to a local farm with my grandmother to pick sweet red strawberries for jam, shortcake, and just plain eating. Read more »
    4 comment(s)

  • "Don't Methylate My DNA or Perturb My Thyroid": An OB/GYN gets tough on pesticides
    Posted by Joanne L. Perron, MD FACOG on February 24, 2011

    Biblical locusts, medieval plague, and unrelenting malarial mosquitoes: humans have always lived in a pestiferous world. Ever ingenious, humans have devised myriad solutions over the centuries to eradicate insects and vermin. Read more »
    22 comment(s)

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