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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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PSR Assails Health Risks from Coal Ash

December 14, 2010

In 2010, PSR joined the fight for safe regulation of coal ash.  Coal ash, the toxics-laden waste that remains after coal is burned, is stored in ponds and dumps across the US.  With the EPA considering whether to establish nationwide regulations for safe storage, PSR weighed in across the country.

PSR wrote and distributed a review of the threats to health posed by coal ash toxicants and their unsafe storage areas.  Coal Ash, The Toxic Threat to our Health and Environment was widely cited in the public hearings on coal ash the EPA organized in eight cities. 

PSR mobilized national staff, chapter leaders and board members to testify at six of those hearings, where we championed the establishment of uniform, health-protective regulations on coal ash.  PSR was the only group consistently raising the “health voice” at those hearings.

PSR members also submitted over 2,800 comments to the EPA docket, calling for the phase-out of wet coal ash storage and for consistent regulation of coal ash in all states.
 
Environment and Health deputy director Barbara Gottlieb, lead author of the report, briefed EPA staff on the report’s findings, highlighting shortcomings in the methods used by the EPA to assess coal ash toxicity.  She also conducted radio interviews on coal ash in 15 cities, including “coal country” locales such as Johnstown, PA, Knoxville, TN and Charleston, WV.

She also presented via teleconference to the “Coming Clean” coalition, Alaska Community Action on Toxics, and the Kentucky Environmental Foundation. 

The public comments period on coal ash has now closed, and the EPA is reviewing the extensive public input as it finalizes its decision on how to regulate this dangerous waste material.

Action Alerts

  • Tell the EPA: Don't delay methane protections

    Tell the EPA: don't delay the proposed rule to capture leaking methane gas. Our health and the health of the climate cannot wait!

  • Tell Congress—defend the Clean Air Act against Big Oil!

    President Trump, his new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and some in Congress are attempting to block or weaken clean air and climate protections like the Clean Power Plan. Tell your member of Congress to support full implementation of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan.

More action alerts»

Resources

  • Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit

    PSR and the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units have just introduced the updated Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT). This free web app offers evidenced-based information for clinicians to educate parents about how to reduce toxic exposures during well-child visits. Read more »

  • Environmental Health

    This introductory course in Environmental Health is intended for undergraduate- and graduate-level students of medicine, environmental sciences or public health, and provides foundational theoretical and practical knowledge and skills. Free course offered by NextGenU. Read more »

  • Video: Fracking - Too Dirty, Too Dangerous

    Former executive director of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Catherine Thomasson, MD, presents findings from PSR's report "Too Dirty, Too Dangerous: Why Health Professionals Reject Natural Gas". It is based on summaries of recent medical and scientific studies which clearly convey the health threats that accompany use of methane as a fuel. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • November 30, 2016
    Eating for Climate and Health
    PSR's new PowerPoint presentation on how climate change impacts food production, and agriculture's contribution to climate change.