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  • April 14, 2011

    Every Breath You Take

    This month, PSR’s Environmental Health Policy Institute posts essays on air pollution and health. At a time when Congress is pushing to limit the ability of the EPA to control air pollution, these essays provide important information on the true cost of dirty air. Read what top air health and science experts think is the most important achievement we've gained through air pollution management, as well as what they think remains to be done to safeguard public health from air pollution.

  • April 14, 2011

    Lown-Alexander-Sidel Award Bestowed on Tova Fuller

    At this year’s student conference “Rx for Survival,” Dr. Tova Fuller was awarded the first Lown-Alexander-Sidel Award for excellence in medical advocacy. Dr. Fuller was recognized for her ability to inspire other medical students and her contributions to advancing PSR’s mission. She served as national representative for Student Physicians for Social Responsibility from 2006 to 2009 and was instrumental in expanding the student program in both membership and new chapters. Read more »

  • March 30, 2011

    Plutonium Carries Serious Risks to Public Health and the Environment

    The release of plutonium from at least one of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactors carries serious risks to public health and the environment, according to PSR. Inhalation of a plutonium particle the size of a speck of dust can lead to lung cancer and death. The particle’s extensive half-life also means it will impact the environment for thousands of years if released into the soil, air or sea.

    Read more »

  • 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.

    Read more »

  • 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."

    Read more »

  • Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant
    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.

    Read more »

  • 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.

    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 12, 2011

    Japanese Nuclear Reactor Crisis Continues

    On March 12, a buildup of hydrogen caused an explosion in the turbine room at the Fukushima Daiichi Unit-1 reactor in Japan.  The Japanese government is reporting that the reactor vessel is intact, but it is not known if the explosion caused any damage to it. The 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 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 »

  • TransAlta Plant
    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.

    Read more »

  • 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 »

  • Environmental Health Policy Institute
    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. 

    Read more »

  • 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.


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