March 30, 2011
Large International Conference Confirms that PSR’s Voice of Urgency is Needed
It has been a privilege on behalf of PSR to be participating for the past two days in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Annual Conference on Nuclear Policy. This gathering with over 700 top level participants from 40 countries has been grappling with some of the most pressing issues facing our world today.
Read the rest of the blog post by Peter Wilk, MD »
March 25, 2011
Wind Blows Coal Away
Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD MSN, Director of Environmental Health Programs provided expert testimony at the Maryland House of Delegates and the Senate this month. She presented in support of offshore wind energy by detailing the public health impacts of coal-fired power plants. PSR strongly supports clean, renewable energy policies, which improve air quality and displace dirty electric generation.
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March 23, 2011
PSR Deeply Concerned About Reports of Increased Radioactivity in Food Supply
PSR expressed concern over recent reports that radioactivity from the ongoing Fukushima accident is present in the Japanese food supply. While all food contains radionuclides, whether from natural sources, nuclear testing or otherwise, the increased levels found in Japanese spinach and milk pose health risks to the population. PSR also expressed alarm over the level of misinformation circulating in press reports about the degree to which radiation exposure can be considered "safe."
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March 22, 2011
PSR Calls for a US Moratorium on New Nuclear Reactors, Citing Medical Risks
PSR has called for a nationwide moratorium on new nuclear reactors in the United States and a suspension of operations at the nuclear reactors with a similar design as those involved in the disaster in Japan, as well as those on fault lines.
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March 17, 2011
Radiation and Health: The Japanese Nuclear Crisis and Health Impacts
The ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant seriously threatens human health and will continue to pose a threat for an indeterminate period. That’s the message that PSR spokespeople have been carrying to the public through the mass media over the past week.
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March 12, 2011
Japanese Nuclear Reactor Crisis Continues
March 12, a buildup of hydrogen caused an explosion in the turbine room
at the Fukushima Daiichi Unit-1 reactor in Japan. The Japanese
is reporting that the reactor vessel is intact, but it is not known if
the explosion caused any damage to it.
government is evacuating 200,000 people within 12 miles and is also reported to be distributing
potassium iodine pills to reduce the risk of thyroid
cancer. In a desperate effort to prevent a nuclear meltdown, the
reactor operator is flooding the reactor with seawater. Listen to the March 12 press conference with nuclear experts, including PSR’s Dr. Ira Helfand. Read more »
March 12, 2011
Japan's Nuclear Reactor Crisis Worsens
On March 17, helicopters began dumping water on Unit-3 in an effort to cover the spent fuel, which may have been exposed to the air. These efforts have been stop-and-go, as radiation levels have been very high around this unit, putting workers at risk. The US embassy in Japan has issued guidelines for personnel to remain at least 80 km away from the reactors. Read more »
Listen to the audio from the press event with radiation and health experts here.
March 11, 2011
Japanese Earthquake Puts Nuclear Reactor at Risk
On Friday March 11, the largest earthquake in Japanese history (8.9) hit the eastern coast of Japan, causing the shutdown of reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear station and the Tohuku nuclear station. Backup power for the Fukushima Daiichi Unit-2 reactor did not function, which has put the cooling system at risk. The cooling system keeps the extremely hot nuclear core from melting down, as well as the spent fuel rods in large pools from overheating and causing a fire.
Read more »
March 8, 2011
PSR helps negotiate closure of coal-fired power plant
PSR’s Washington chapter and the national PSR staff have helped negotiate a landmark agreement to close the state’s only coal-fired power plant. PSR worked with environmental groups and Washington State officials to hammer out an accord with the plant owners. The TransAlta plant is the state’s largest source of greenhouse gases and a significant emitter of nitrogen oxide, mercury, and particulate pollution. The planned closure greatly advances the Northwest’s goal of becoming coal-free.
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March 2, 2011
High-stakes debate looming over EPA power to regulate pollutants
The showdown in the U.S. Congress over the EPA’s power to regulate pollutants has been postponed, but recent actions by the House of Representatives make clear that the upcoming debate will be high-stakes. The House added amendments to a must-pass budget bill that would limit or revoke the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, mercury and other air toxics, water pollutants, coal ash, and mountaintop removal wastes. Learn more »
February 28, 2011
Urgent! Speak out for healthy air!
Last week the House of Representatives passed a "Continuing Resolution" (budget bill) with amendments denying the EPA the power to regulate pollutants. The bill limited or revoked the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases, mercury and other air toxics, water pollutants, coal ash, and mountaintop removal wastes. Learn more »
February 25, 2011
Congressional action would dismantle fundamental safeguards to health
The U.S. House of Representatives launched a major assault on basic anti-pollution safeguards when it passed a “Continuing Resolution” on Feb. 19. A Continuing Resolution (C.R.) is a budget bill, temporarily extending government funding until Congress can hammer out a new annual budget. But this year, the C.R. was loaded down with amendments that would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from carrying out its basic function: protecting Americans from deadly air and water pollutants. More »
February 24, 2011
You Are What You Eat
You are what you eat – and what you eat could be responsible for exposing you and your family to toxic chemicals. But it’s not just what you eat. It’s the entire food production system, from pesticides and fertilizers, to antibiotics and hormones, to additives and preservatives, to food packaging materials. In this month's Environmental Health Policy Institute, experts address the question, "How does our food production system drive our exposure to toxic chemicals?"
February 17, 2011
Doctors, Nurses, other Health Professionals Urge Congress to Resist Efforts to Weaken the Clean Air Act
On February 9, over 1,800 health professionals decried efforts to weaken the Clean Air Act in a letter sent by Physicians for Social Responsibility, the American Lung Association, and the American Public Health Association to the President and Congress. The letter comes as members of Congress debate eliminating the health protections established by the Clean Air Act, the landmark environmental statute that prevents an estimated 160,000 premature deaths a year.
Read more »
February 9, 2011
EPA’s Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash
In a just-released report, PSR and two environmental organizations have revealed that most of the chromium that leaches from coal ash into ground and surface water takes the form of highly carcinogenic hexavalent chromium. Long known to cause lung cancer when inhaled, hexavalent chromium has been shown to cause stomach cancer in humans, and intestinal and oral cancers in laboratory animals, when ingested in water.
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February 4, 2011
Making the Connection
PSR Wisconsin is co-sponsoring a conference to educate health care professionals about important environmental factors affecting human health and how best to use that information in primary care practice. February 18-20, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Learn more »
February 2, 2011
New START has now entered into force. Congratulations, now onward to Zero!
On February 2nd, President Barack Obama signed the final version of New START and the exchange of the treaty documents occurred on February 5th in Munich, Germany. This outcome was made possible by the hard work of PSR members and our many colleague organizations working together to encourage our allies and convince skeptics about the treaty's importance. Through our 1 More 4 Zero campaign, we will continue to build support for this essential and inspiring vision, while taking important short-term steps on the road to zero.
January 26, 2011
Why Coal and Nuclear Have No Business in a "Clean Energy Standard"
Experts including PSR's Dr. Alan Lockwood held a press teleconference to discuss the proposed 'clean energy standard' -- a contradiction in terms if it includes nuclear and coal. Nuclear and coal are dirty at every step of the way, posing huge risks to human health and the environment.
Read Dr. Lockwood's comments »
Read the press release »
January 13, 2011
Whither the Science? PSR experts discuss a way ahead for effective climate policy
As healthcare professionals, PSR members represent a critical voice in the effort to address global warming. And yet these voices, as well as those of the global scientific community, don’t seem to get any traction in our current political climate. In this month's Environmental Health Policy Institute, PSR experts take on the climate policy deadlock with fresh ideas about how to move the policy needle. Read essays from Steven G. Gilbert, Barbara Gottlieb, Barbara Warren, H. Steven Moffic, and Edward Maibach & Matthew Nesbit addressing the question, "How can we integrate scientific evidence into our climate and energy policy choices?
January 7, 2011
Rx for Survival 2011
Emerging Medical and Public Health Professionals Meet in Washington, DC
April 8 - 10, 2011 at George Washington University
Register now for the biennial conference hosted by Student Physicians for Social Responsibility